Friday, March 28, 2014

Rodin in Roma

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

During a recent trip to Roma, my painter friend and I visited the Rodin exhibit happening now.  Only white marbles by the French sculptor were on exhibit and it was interesting to see them all together in one long ancient room of brick.  The curator wanted to show something of the thought processes of the artist.  I appreciated the choices here and glad to see ONLY the stone.
It is a problem for me to refrain from touching sculpture, and sometimes even paintings.  Sure, I understand about keeping something treasured in a good condition for future generations (hey, with pollution these days, even keeping something lovely for OUR generation is a struggle); but I think that love should be expressed and some of the most beloved sculptures throughout the history of man have worn-down parts from too much touching or the rubbing of fans and believers.    
I think part of the solution is to have more people buy the art that moves them, so they may enjoy it as they wish.  As a creator, I am thrilled when collectors feel that the art makes a real difference in their lives.  More people living with beloved artworks also has the fringe benefit of keeping artists working.  [Perhaps part of the problem is that we artists are not inspiring many these days?   Thoughts, anyone?]

A strange feeling has been growing in me for many years now:  a reluctant admission that white marble is lovely, but cold when it comes to depicting human flesh.  It has a beautiful way of standing out in an outdoor environment and lending class to any situation.  However, we have so many colors of stone to choose from and I like this idea very much.  Also, I do not enjoy as much the solid white marble.  A little bit of natural veining lends some sort of authenticity to what the artist has accomplished in this living material – one knows that the works was not cast, afterall.  That said, I will be happy when my focus turns again to stone.  Right now, I am limited by the location of my current flat (in the city) and my lack of tools.  I am missing my former life in Texas a little, especially the ability to work outdoors surrounded by trees and privacy.

Ah, but I digress, as is my way too often… As for Rodin, I saw in Roma some carvings that I had never seen before.  I do not like all of Rodin’s work, and I think that is natural.  However, he pushed into the emotional and, specifically, the sensual realm of human expression.  For that alone, the world should be forever grateful.  I include here some of my better shots from the exhibition.  The lighting was soft over the white marble.

Exhibit runs now through 25 May 2014
“Rodin. Il marmo, la vita”
18 febbraio / 25 maggio 2014
Museo Nazionale Romano alle Terme di Diocleziano, Roma
[an easy walk from the Termini train station and Piazza della Repubblica]

Here is one page with more information and images (although the text is in Italian):