That famous statue of a naked man thinking is coming to London, as part of an exhibition about the man who made it, Auguste Rodin. Well, a plaster version of it – for this is an exhibition that shies away from the polished bronzes and goes for plaster instead.
Featuring over 200 works, many of which have never been shown outside France, The Making of Rodin aims to offer unique insight into Rodin’s ways of thinking and making. It’s also something to look forward to as museums and galleries start their preparations for the Great Unlocking.
Thanks to a collaboration with the Musée Rodin, who have offered Tate access to their collection, works such as The Thinker 1881 and The Three Shades 1886 will be on display in London.
Although Rodin is best known for his bronze and marble sculptures, he personally only worked as a modeller, capturing movement, emotion, light and volume in pliable materials such as clay which were then cast in plaster.
The Tate Modern exhibition takes its inspiration from Rodin’s own self-organised exhibition in 1900, where he took the radical decision to display his life’s work almost entirely in plaster. Many of the star exhibits of 1900 such as the monumental casts of Balzac 1898 or La Meditation 1896 will be shown at Tate Modern in a rare reunion.
As an artist, he didn’t model always from nature, but created a huge array of heads, arms and legs that he would fuse together — and some of those experimental works will be coming to London for the display as well. Away from the 3D, the exhibition will also include archival images from the 1900 exhibition, photographs and watercolours.
The exhibition, all things permitting, will be the Tate Modern’s summer blockbuster, and for many of us, a pleasing reward for the past year of lockdowns.
The exhibition, The Making of Rodin is likely to open from 17th May to 31st October, and tickets will go on sale soon.
Alternatively, entry will be free for Tate Members.