We round up the reviews for Tate Modern’s exhibition that explores Rodin’s work with materials such as clay and plaster.
The Observer: *** “Now there is no conceivable universe in which one wouldn’t rather see the art of Rodin in marble, bronze or clay, the medium in which his own touch is specially evident. You’re reminded of this on seeing a tiny clay study for The Thinker in this show, so articulate and deft, still quick with the maker’s mark. But it is true that there is much to be learned from these casts.”
The Guardian: **** “You have to hand it to the curators. They don’t hold back. Yet Rodin the modernist keeps coming up against Rodin the medievalist. The problem with removing biographical context or iconographic meaning, and just giving us an aesthetic splurge of weird plaster casts, is that it can seriously misrepresent his art.”
Luxury London.co.uk: “There isn’t heaps to learn about Rodin here; the guide even struggles to fill the space with anything particularly illuminating. There’s a section called ‘Appropriation’ which is sure to please the contemporary art students. But it doesn’t need to be there, and says little about the artist himself. Rodin was straightforward about his art and what it does to people, which is about as classic as it gets.”
Evening Standard: ***** “It’s disconcerting to find Rodin in Tate Modern. We are used to seeing him in Tate Britain down the river – The Kiss has been brought here for this new exhibition – or in the V&A. He does come within Tate Modern’s remit in period (he died in 1917) but he’s one of the earliest artists to be shown there. His representational figurative sculpture will be a different experience for visitors after the abstract and modernist art.”
The Times: **** “Rodin wanted not only to emphasise the fundamental role that plaster (dismissed in those days as a merely transitional medium) had played in the shaping of his audacious modern vision, but also, in doing so, to mythologise himself as a solitary genius, moulding and breaking and adding and blending: each sculpture made special by the masterful touch…”
The Upcoming: **** “Beauty courses through the veins of this exhibition, and the artist’s creative processes are brought sharply into focus; the plasters are discoloured, graphite marks and the fusion of components visible. Works like The Burghers of Calais (1889), the restored cast of which stands illuminated by Tate Modern’s windows, its figures a twisting mass of raw emotion, speak of Rodin’s ability to convey how the body feels in every nerve and sinew.”
The Telegraph: ** “This major show of work by the great French artist shows his attention to details of the human frame. But why be so prissy about his morals?”
iNews: **** “It’s a handsome palette-cleanser of a show, but nevertheless, an odd choice for Tate Modern, particularly coming only two years after the British Museum’s Rodin exhibition.”
The EY Exhibition: The Making Of Rodin is on display at the Tate Modern until the 21st November.