Wednesday, October 1, 2008

RODIN! CARPEAUX!

In preparation to go to Nashville this Friday afternoon to get a long-awaited museum dose (there is a Rodin show at the Frist Gallery!) , I have been listening to Frederic Grunfeld's "Rodin: A Biography" read on tape. Oh, how wonderful books on tape can be !! I am SUCH a dorky spokesperson for the library. Please, if any of you get a chance... support your local library.

Anyhow, this 20-tape selection talks about the influences on the young sculptor, France at one of its lowest/highest points, and other sculptors who came into contact with Rodin. Sometimes he sounds like a real arrogant #%*hole, but for the most part, a sensitive man in-tune with nature and many of her nuances. The author also goes on to point out what a strong influence the sculptor Carpeaux had on that generation of other artists. I found the image below online, and thought I would share. I love the subtlety of the pose, the slight shift of all the opposing limbs. I think this sort of idea, if I may say, is something that many artists, including myself, forget. What is it that draws us to John Singer Sargent's slight smiles? In Duveneck's dark glances of someone about to turn towards/ away from us?
I think there is a lot to be said for the moment before an action. Have you ever noticed that many pieces of art depicting some grand action soemtimes look quite static?? What is it that trully portrays an action? ? And can it still be designed? I think this is something the great sculptors like Michaelangelo, Rodin, Carpeaux, and Bernini were all well aware of, and chased it as best they could. This is definitely not a critical response to art. As a painter, I am merely throwing out what I find beautiful and interesting for others to think about.
Enjoy!

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