When one thinks of sculpture, one name towers above all others: Auguste Rodin is to bronze what William Shakespeare is to theatre or Robert Johnson is to the blues.
So a new exhibit, Rodin: In His Own Words, offers a rare chance to see the work of the French master of the human form at the Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City. The exhibit, which opened April 29 and runs through August 6, features 35 of the artists bronze sculptures in addition to a selection of his original letters and an explanation of the 10-step lost-wax casting process.
The exhibit spans the entire range of Rodins legacy from early works The Mask of the Man with the Broken Nose and Saint John the Baptist Preaching, to studies from some of Rodins major monuments such as The Gates of Hell and The Burghers of Calais. Also included are Rodins statues of the artists Claude Lorrain and Jules Bastien-Lepage from the heyday of the Parisian art scene.
At the peak of his career Auguste Rodin (18401917) was regarded as the greatest sculptor since Michelangelo. Leaving behind 19th-century academic traditions, Rodin created his own form of artistic expression. He focused on the vitality of the human spirit by using a vigorous modeling technique that emphasized his personal response to the tale being told. His works were purposely obscure in their meaning, allowing the viewer to bring his or her own imagination to bear in the story behind the work.
Today, Rodins pioneering figurative sculpture is considered a crucial link between traditional and modern art.
We are very pleased bring this wonderful exhibition to the Grand Traverse region, says Eugene Jenneman, Director of the Dennos Museum Center, It is a fine exhibition to offer during our 15th anniversary year and a great opportunity for students to encounter one the great figurative sculptors of all time during our traditional school field trip season.
The exhibition is courtesy of the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, which provided the collection. The Dennos is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m. Admission is $4 adults, $2 for children and free to museum members.
For more information on the museum go to www.dennosmuseum.org or call 231-995-1055. The Dennos is located at the entrance to Northwestern Michigan College.