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.
Camille Pissarro, born 183 years ago today on the island of St. Thomas, was not much for city life. Although he spent some time in Paris developing his craft and seeing his work accepted into the Paris Salon, Pissarro had a penchant for the pastoral-–not unlike those artists whose work he admired and studied like Camille Corot (who was also Pissarro’s teacher) and Gustave Courbet.
The timeless, crowd-pleasing, (and my favorite) works by Pissarro that include French boulevards peppered with voyeurs, dandies, and stagecoaches, number few in comparison to the volume of his work focused on a simpler and quieter way of life. Much like that of his own with wife and children in the French countryside of Pontoise and later Louveciennes, village life remained a constant in his work.
Megan Clark, Manager of Center Initiatives