Rodin: Sculptures from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation

December 22, 2012 - October 31, 2014

Location: Bloch Lobby

Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917) was one of the most influential sculptors of the 19th century. His innovative modeling technique and unconventional, often provocative subject matter earned him praise as the greatest sculptor since Michelangelo. Going against academic tradition, Rodin created highly expressive sculptures of the human body in his quest to convey such universal emotions as love, longing, reverie and despair.

This exhibition brings together magnificent Rodin bronzes from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, which aims to promote understanding and appreciation of the artist’s achievements.

The sculptures are divided into three thematic groups: The Gates of Hell section, which contains figures relating to the massive bronze portal that was Rodin’s most important commission; a group dedicated to the statues of historical and cultural heroes commissioned as public monuments; and a series of isolated hands that strive to express different states of being.

In addition to highlighting Rodin’s unrivaled capacity to capture the human spirit in all its nuances, the exhibition will also bring to light his pioneering studio practices. Working in plaster and wax, Rodin created models that he would fragment, multiply, recombine, enlarge and reduce. This unorthodox working method allowed the artist to produce a startling range of sculptural effects, examples of which are on display.

Auguste Rodin (French, 1840–1917). Head of Shade with Two Hands, modeled ca. 1910. Cast 2, edition size and date unknown, Bronze, 7 5/8 x 10 3/4 x 8 1/8 inches. Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation.

This exhibition is supported by the Donald J. Hall Initiative.