‘In reality there is not a muscle of the body which does not express the inner variations of feeling. All speak of joy or of sorrow, of enthusiasm or of despair, of serenity or of madness.’
– Auguste Rodin.
Auguste Rodin, France, 1840–1917,
Pierre de Wissant, monumental nude, c.1886–87
(Coubertin Foundry, cast 1985), Paris,
bronze, 215.0 x 100.0 x 60.0 cm,
William Bowmore AO OBE Collection.
Gift of the South Australian Government,
assisted by the Art Gallery of South Australia Foundation 1996,
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Manic March just got a little more exciting, with the addition of Versus Rodin: Bodies across space and time at the Art Gallery of South Australia, showing until Sunday 2 July 2017. Over 60 modern and contemporary artists will go head to head with the man himself, Auguste Rodin in the Gallery’s latest major exhibition.
Over 200 works of art by leading artists from Australia and overseas will showcase their understanding of the human condition, via a number of unique and diverse mediums. This exciting event, staying until mid-year is a part of the Adelaide Festival and part of the world-wide celebrations commemorating the centenary of the great French sculptor’s death. Likewise, Versus Rodin brings attention to the Gallery’s own collection of Rodin bronzes, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, whilst also featuring new works on display for the very first time. Rodin is considered a master of modern art, and in particular, sculpture. He aimed to capture notions of the human condition, the body, emotion, as well as challenging the artistic norm. His work The Kiss, is by far one of the most recognizable pieces of sculpture that encapsulates this very idea of what makes us human – longing human connection, desire and unfathomable emotion.
Guy Maestri, Australia, born 1974,
Xerox no. ll, 2016,
painted bronze, concrete,
56.0 x 17.0 x 17.0 cm,
© Guy Maestri, courtesy Jan Murphy Gallery, Brisbane
Versus Rodin: bodies across space and time explores this preoccupation with the body, just like Rodin once focused on in his remarkable collection. However, moving forward into the present moment, society’s obsession with the human figure is perhaps more relevant than ever before, instigating conversation between Rodin’s works and the selected contemporary figurative works by key modern artists. The Art Gallery of South Australia acquired twenty bronze sculptures and one drawing by Auguste Rodin in early 1996. Highlights of the Gallery’s Rodin collection include Pierre de Wissant and Andrieu d’Andres from the sculptural group Monument to the Burghers of Calais; The Three Shades from Rodin’s never completed The Gates of Hell; The Walking Man; Iris, Messenger of the Gods and Flying Figure.
To view the full list of participating artists of Versus Rodin, check out the exhibition guide here, and to view the event catalogue filled with an array of different scheduled talks, guides and tours, click here.