At the Galleries

Auguste_Rodin_1840-1917_Dance_Movement_A-e1484946567756Karen Wilkin at The Hudson Review:

Among the most notable of the past season’s exhibitions were revelations of studio practice in early twentieth-century Paris, the Dutch Golden Age, and seventeenth-century Spain. In London, for example, “Rodin and Dance: The Essence of Movement,” at the Courtauld Gallery, organized in collaboration with the Musée Rodin, Paris, surveyed the French master’s compelling late images of dancers. Made in the 1890s, when Auguste Rodin was in his 50s and 60s, these radically simplified drawings and sculptures bear witness to a private side of the celebrated artist. Exhibited with photographs that provided context, they docu­mented Rodin’s delight in vanguard dance, from a Cambodian troupe to Isadora Duncan and Loie Fuller. Rodin attended perfor­mances and had dancers pose for him in the studio (one acrobatic model with an exceptionally flexible spine was a favorite), responding with rapid pencil drawings, many made, as was his frequent practice, without taking his eyes off the model to glance at the page. Some of these vigorous, pared-down images were embellished with watercolor, while others remained untouched—evidence of both Rodin’s methods and his ability to distill perception into economical, evocative shapes.

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