This autumn, Nationalmuseum presents a major exhibition about the French sculptor Auguste Rodin, co-produced with the Musée Rodin, Paris, and the Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki. Many of Rodin’s works have achieved iconic status. The Thinker is one of the world’s best-known sculptures. The exhibition is an opportunity to see some of the works of this legendary artist who changed the art of sculpture for all time.
Auguste Rodin (1840–1917) was an outsider who, with his bold aesthetic and innovative sculptures, changed the art of sculpture for all time. Over the years, many of his works such as The Kiss and The Thinker have achieved iconic status and have been reproduced countless times. Googling “The Thinker” yields several million hits. But when they were first exhibited in the late 19th century, the sculptures were seen either as too daring and realistic or as too incomplete and lacking in narrative context. Rodin’s focus was always on the human form, and he was able to encapsulate both physical realism and strong emotional expression in a single figure. In this respect, he can be regarded as one of the last of the classical sculptors, whereas the vividness and spontaneity of his aesthetic marked him out as progressive and innovative. What the world at large perceived as incomplete might be the embodiment of perfection to Rodin’s mind.
The exhibition features over 50 of Rodin’s sculptures in various versions and materials, including several of his best-known works such as The Kiss, The Thinker and Je suis belle. In Stockholm, the exhibition will also feature around 20 works by Scandinavian sculptors influenced by Rodin, including Carl Milles and Carl Eldh.
The exhibition is a co-production with the Musée Rodin, Paris, the Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki and the French art historian Antoinette Le Normand-Romain. In spring 2016 it will move on to the Ateneum.
Rodin opens on 1 October 2015 in Nationalmuseum’s temporary venue at Konstakademien and runs until 10 January 2016.