Rodin . . . wanted to depict the incomprehensibility of the body as sliding structure. . . . The body in an eternal transformation and interchange with the surroundings.
(excerpted from Klaus Ottmann’s essay in the exhibition catalogue, Per Kirkeby: Paintings and Sculpture)
As Google reminds us with today’s doodle, the celebrated French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) would have been 172 today.
Rodin is a special hero to Per Kirkeby, subject of a current exhibition at the Phillips. In an interview with exhibition co-curator Director Dorothy Kosinski, Kirkeby identified Rodin’s Gates of Hell (1880-c.1890) as his favorite sculpture, calling it “radiant.” Elsewhere, he has referred to the work as a “dinosaur,” likening Rodin’s sculptures to “fossil bones.”
For artist-geologist Kirkeby, Rodin’s work is a telling starting point.