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We're Excited for All of These (and You Will Be, Too)

August 31, 2017

Fine Art Connoisseur
By Andrew Webster

2017 marks the centenary of Auguste Rodin’s death, and institutions around the world are commemorating this icon through a number of absolutely can’t-miss events and exhibitions. We have a list.

Arguably the greatest single force that brought sculpture into the Modern age, Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) is, in the history of art, a giant among giants. He is famed for his expressive and introspective approach, and works such as “The Kiss,” “The Thinker,” and “The Gates of Hell” have been cherished and celebrated since their inception.

Marking 100 years since his death, 2017 will witness a number of fantastic events around the country that deserve your attention, and we’ve compiled them here for your convenience. The hashtag #Rodin100 may be followed for this initiative as well. For full information, visit http://www.rodin100.org/.

1) Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collections are part of a travelling exhibition to three museums in the United States in 2017. Titled “Rodin: The Human Experience — Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collections,” this major exhibition features 52 bronzes by Rodin, with particular focus on the sculptor’s passion for modeling the human form in clay, the medium in which his hand and mind are most directly evidenced. This show opened at the Portland Art Museum on January 21 and continues through April 16. It will then travel to the Flint Institute of Arts in Flint, Michigan, where it will be on view from May 6 through July 30. Its final stop will be in Savannah, Georgia, at the Telfair Museums from September 1 through January 7, 2018.

2) The Rodin Museum in Philadelphia will present “The Kiss” from February 1 through January 2019. An installation rather than an exhibition, “The Kiss” is centered on the theme of passionate embrace. The works on view “demonstrate the variety of approaches, meanings, and allusions that Rodin brought to his intimate figure groupings in order to evoke emotional intensity,” the museum writes. “In particular, the Rodin Museum’s copy of ‘The Kiss’ is considered for its unique history and as an example of Rodin’s continuing appeal.”

3) From September 9 through December 9, the Pauly Friedman Art Gallery on the campus of Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania, will present “Rodin: Portraits of a Lifetime.” Selected works for this exhibition again focus on the artist’s adroit figural sculptures. “Rodin captured the expressiveness and authentic emotion of his subjects in part by using roughly textured bronze surfaces to reflect light,” the museum reports, “giving the effect of movement.”

4) San Francisco, California’s Legion of Honor presents one of the larger exhibitions in “Auguste Rodin: The Centenary Installation.” From January 28 through December 31, this installation features some 50 sculptures in bronze, marble, and plaster, drawn from the permanent collections of the Legion of Honor. “To further commemorate the Rodin centenary,” the organization writes, “the Fine Arts Museums have invited international artists Urs Fischer and Sarah Lucas to conceive installations combining new and existing works in dialogue with the museum’s Rodin holdings that explore underappreciated dimensions of Rodin’s work.”

5) The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia will present “Kiefer Rodin” from November 17 through March 12, 2018. In collaboration with the Musée Rodin in Paris, this exhibition “gathers new works by renowned contemporary artist Anselm Kiefer (b. 1945) that were created in response to sculptures and drawings by Rodin,” the foundation reports. Featuring over 100 works, the exhibition includes Kiefer’s large-scale illustrated books made in homage to Rodin as well as sculptures and drawings by the master himself — some being displayed in the United States for the first time.

6) New York’s Metropolitan Museum will be presenting a number of carefully curated works by Rodin from September 5 through January 15, 2018. Nearly 60 marbles, bronzes, plasters, and terracottas by Rodin that represent over 100 years of acquisitions and gifts will be on view. Via the museum, “The extraordinary range of the Met’s holdings of Rodin’s work is also highlighted in a related focus exhibition, ‘Rodin on Paper,’ a selection of Rodin’s drawings, prints, letters, and illustrated books, as well as photographs by Edward Steichen of the master sculptor and his art.”

7) Finally, the Museo Soumaya in Mexico City, Mexico, will exhibit more than 150 works in bronze, marble, plaster, porcelain, and terracotta during “Eve through the Glance of Art” from November 17 through April 2018.