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chosen works

FROM THE MUSテ右 RODIN


Foreword Akim Monet Catalogue entries MusĂŠe Rodin, Paris Photography on location Side by Side Gallery Akim Monet, Berlin

akim monet SIDE BY SIDE GALLERY Potsdamer Strasse 81b 10785 Berlin - Germany T. +49-30-25 46 09 44 F. +49-30-25 46 09 45 info@sidebysidegallery.com www.sidebysidegallery.com


chosen works

FROM THE MUSテ右 RODIN


FOREWORD In the spring of 2015, I was able to obtain a carefully chosen selection of works from the Musée Rodin. In addition to the intrinsic beauty of these pieces, their interest resides in the fact that they are often the starting point, or an important component, in the development of a major work. From the Musée Rodin: “Rodin began most of his sculptures by modeling small versions, which made them easier to handle and enabled the sculptor to pursue his creative idea without having to worry about technical constraints.” Such is the case with the masterful meter tall figure of Eustache de Saint-Pierre. Similarly, in the words of the writer Mathias Morhardt about Muse Tragique, tête: “One can see the thought, the very hand, of the master. It has not been tainted by any assistant’s hand or by any modification. It is the sculptor’s initial emotion, his true work, the depths of his soul.” Moreover, Rodin personally selected several of these works for the all-important exhibition he presented at the Alma Pavilion in 1900, which turned-out to be a major turning point in the artist’s career.


Such is the case with the Femme qui se Peigne and the Nu féminin agenouillé, penché vers l’avant. Of note, although the latter was subsequently used in several “assemblages,” Rodin presented this undeniably masterful piece as a finished work at the Alma Pavilion. There, he also presented the progressive Sphinge sur colonne, “a product of Rodin’s research on the presentation and orientation of his exhibited works, La Sphinge sur colonne was the first work he reproduced together with its pedestal in bronze, giving the whole ensemble the status of an artwork.” Rodin has the capacity to “get under one’s skin” with works that are self-standing, but each is also an integral part of a whole; it is my wish that the pieces here presented will give you a glimpse into Auguste Rodin’s ‘Gesamtkunstwerk,’ a gateway to the understanding of the underlying reasons why Auguste Rodin is generally regarded as the father of modern sculpture. Akim Monet


PLATES


Auguste RODIN (1840-1917) Muse tragique tête Tragic muse, head Bronze 31 x 19 x 22 cm 1895 Fonte Godard Ed. 8/8, © by Musée Rodin 1987 PROVENANCE Musée Rodin, Paris

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LITERATURE A. Monet, Auguste Rodin: An Expressionist Eye, 2015 (illustrated) EXHIBITED Auguste Rodin: An Expressionist Eye, 2015, Side by Side Gallery Akim Monet GmbH, Berlin May 1 to July 11, 2015. Auguste RODIN, Otto DIX, Erich HECKEL, Max KAUS, Ernst Ludwig KIRCHNER, Otto MUELLER, Emile NOLDE, Max PECHSTEIN, and Karl SCHMITT-ROTTLUFF The Muse tragique, with her enlarged neck and squashed forehead, appeared in 1895 in the Monument à Victor Hugo, and was exhibited in Geneva the following year. She represents the darkest side of Hugo’s genius - the poet in exile, the author of Les Châtiments. Mathias Morhardt wrote in defence of this work: “Your correspondent thinks it amusing to claim that this woman suffers from leprosy. This only goes to show his irritating ignorance. In fact this woman is perfectly modeled. One can see the thought, the very hand, of the master. It has not been tainted by any assistant’s hand or by any modification. It is the sculptor’s initial emotion, his true work, the depths of his soul.” The head was cast separately at an unknown date, and the sort of goitre that enlarges the neck is still visible in the autonomous version. The light falling over the asymmetrical, deformed face, later echoed in Zadkine’s Head of a Young Girl and reminiscent of the work of Francis Bacon, clearly brings out its modernism.


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Auguste RODIN (1840-1917) Eustache de Saint Pierre, étude de nu Eustache de Saint Pierre, nude study Bronze 98 x 34 x 36,5 cm date unknown Fonte Georges Rudier Ed. 5/12, © by Musée Rodin 1965 PROVENANCE Musée Rodin, Paris

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LITERATURE A. Monet, Auguste Rodin: An Expressionist Eye, 2015 (illustrated) EXHIBITED Auguste Rodin: An Expressionist Eye, 2015, Side by Side Gallery Akim Monet GmbH, Berlin May 1 to July 11, 2015. Auguste RODIN, Otto DIX, Erich HECKEL, Max KAUS, Ernst Ludwig KIRCHNER, Otto MUELLER, Emile NOLDE, Max PECHSTEIN, and Karl SCHMITT-ROTTLUFF

The city of Calais wanted to pay homage to the heroism of the burghers who, in 1347 at the end of a yearlong siege, accepted to sacrifice their lives in order to bring the keys of the city to the king of England. This episode of the Hundred Year War is well known owing to the Chroniques de France by Jean Froissart (1360-1365), which were largely disseminated in France and in England. The wealthiest of these burghers, Eustache de Saint-Pierre, and five of his companions made their way toward the camp of the king of England convinced they would save their city for the price of sacrificing their own lives. Luckily, the king’s pregnant wife obtained clemency for the six men from Edward III, and the city was saved.


No project came to succeed until it became necessary in 1884 to affirm the identity of the old Calais: the city was about to merge with the neighboring municipality of Saint-Pierre and began a process of renovation, which led to the demolition of its fortifications. On September 26, the mayor Omer Dewavrin therefore proposed to the city council to “erect in a location to be decided [...] a monument to Eustache de Saint-Pierre and to his companions [...] with the help of a national subscription.“ We know the Burghers of Calais were modeled in the nude in the final size, molded, and only then dressed. Rodin worked intensely on this project until 1886, and the entire group was presented in 1889 at the Rodin-Monet exhibition where it stole the show. The very expression of Eustache de Saint-Pierre’s body, with bowed head, dropping arms, heavy, in a diagonal position, as if slowed, all tend to the reading of a movement hampered by pain. Beyond the expression of pain, Rodin seeks here to attain immanence: “Eustache stiffens. It is he who will talk. And he doesn’t want his voice to tremble. He is motionless, but he’s going to walk… This is something to which I have given much thought…” In Rodin’s capture of movement it is speed, which prevails in order for him to express its synthesis. In order to translate it into sculpture, he focuses on working it well beyond the expressive gesture, which he nonetheless knows perfectly, as “transition from one attitude to another.” It is precisely this slide that he puts into form, so as to guide the eye of the viewer with the representation of the “progressive development of the gesture”. Thus from 1877 the Age d’airain comes out of his torpor. This “large as life” nude who for this very reason caused him many setbacks, conversely marked a victory exactly proportional to its bad reception: that of life over matter. So Saint Jean Baptiste will come forward three years later as a preacher, and Eustache de Saint-Pierre will resign himself to heavily lead the procession of his fellow countrymen to their loss, premises of the Walking Man, a much later work about which the movement that animates him becomes his “raison d’être.“


Auguste RODIN (1840-1917) Assemblage variante de la Femme accroupie et de la Martyre Variation on the assemblage of the crouching woman and the Martyr Bronze 65 x 40 x 35,5 cm ca. 1889-1890 Fonte Godard Ed. 2/8, © by Musée Rodin 1998 PROVENANCE Musée Rodin, Paris

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LITERATURE A. Monet, Auguste Rodin: An Expressionist Eye, 2015 (illustrated) EXHIBITED Auguste Rodin: An Expressionist Eye, 2015, Side by Side Gallery Akim Monet GmbH, Berlin May 1 to July 11, 2015. Auguste RODIN, Otto DIX, Erich HECKEL, Max KAUS, Ernst Ludwig KIRCHNER, Otto MUELLER, Emile NOLDE, Max PECHSTEIN, and Karl SCHMITT-ROTTLUFF This assemblage is composed of two of Rodin’s most famous figures: La Martyre, standing upright in this version, and the Femme accroupie with its primitive sensuality. Both figures were originally modeled for La Porte de l’Enfer, where they each appear twice: once they appear together on the tympanum to the right of Le Penseur. Both were favorite figures of Rodin, reused many times. La Femme accroupie was strongly influenced by Michelangelo; it was displayed on several occasions at the Georges Petit gallery and reappears in several assemblages, including the famous Je suis Belle, which is also in La Porte de l’Enfer. Its spiral composition highlights the contours of the back of his model, Adèle Abbruzzesi. With a slight variation in the position of the leg, it is assembled to La Martyre, a contrasting, angular figure in a state of extreme tension. Curved lines and broken lines echo each other in this exceptionally dynamic assemblage balanced in an extremely precarious position, whose boldness is matched only by its modernist style.


Auguste RODIN (1840-1917) Balzac, téte, Étude d’après le portrai de Berthall Balzac, head, Study after the portrait by Berthall Bronze 25,4 x 26 x 25 cm 1894 Fonte Godard Ed. IV/IV, © by Musée Rodin 1999 PROVENANCE Musée Rodin, Paris

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LITERATURE A. Monet, Auguste Rodin: An Expressionist Eye, 2015 (illustrated) EXHIBITED Auguste Rodin: An Expressionist Eye, 2015, Side by Side Gallery Akim Monet GmbH, Berlin May 1 to July 11, 2015. Auguste RODIN, Otto DIX, Erich HECKEL, Max KAUS, Ernst Ludwig KIRCHNER, Otto MUELLER, Emile NOLDE, Max PECHSTEIN, and Karl SCHMITT-ROTTLUFF This head forms part of the preparatory work for the Monument à Balzac, exhibited in public at the Salon of 1898 after seven years of unflagging work. It was modelled around 1894, and belongs to a study of a headless and pot-bellied nude, similar to the plaster version of the Balzac nu C in the Musée Rodin. At that point, Rodin had already produced eight different portraits of Balzac. This head has often been compared to the caricatured portrait by Charles-Albert d’Arnoux, known as Berthall (1820-1883), which brings out Balzac’s generous, affable side. It has the same chubby face and prominent cheekbones, the moustache and goatee framing the chin, laughing eyes, bushy eyebrows and open forehead. This head can be seen as the end result of the research Rodin conducted on Balzac’s physiognomy, based on the iconography of the day. He was to move away from this approach during the next phase, dismissing the carefully realistic handling of the face and focusing instead on the expressionistic, symbolist treatment of the features of his monumental Balzac.


Auguste RODIN (1840-1917) Nu féminin agenouillé, penché vers l’avant Female nude, leaning forward Bronze 16,5 x 11,3 x 19,5 cm ca. 1887 Fonte Godard Ed. 8/8, © by Musée Rodin 2004 PROVENANCE Musée Rodin, Paris

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LITERATURE A. Monet, Auguste Rodin: An Expressionist Eye, 2015 (illustrated) EXHIBITED Auguste Rodin: An Expressionist Eye, 2015, Side by Side Gallery Akim Monet GmbH, Berlin May 1 to July 11, 2015. Auguste RODIN, Otto DIX, Erich HECKEL, Max KAUS, Ernst Ludwig KIRCHNER, Otto MUELLER, Emile NOLDE, Max PECHSTEIN, and Karl SCHMITT-ROTTLUFF This figure of an undeniably sensual kneeling female nude was displayed in 1900 at the major Rodin exhibition at the Pavillon de l’Alma in Paris. While it differs from La Sirène, the title given to it in the exhibition catalogue, in the slightly more open position of the bent legs and the absence of arms, it appears to form an intermediate phase between that work and another nude, to be found in several versions in the Musée Rodin. The version presented here is set on a base, which seems to have been intended for another element. Rodin showed a continuing interest in this figure and incorporated it in several assemblages: one with another female nude, one with a male nude, one positioned head downward, and one inside an antique bowl.


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Auguste RODIN (1840-1917) Femme qui se peigne Woman combing her hair Bronze 24 x 14,5 x 13,7 cm Before 1900 Fonte Godard Ed. 3/8, © by Musée Rodin 2002 PROVENANCE Musée Rodin, Paris 36

LITERATURE A. Monet, Auguste Rodin: An Expressionist Eye, 2015 (illustrated) EXHIBITED Auguste Rodin: An Expressionist Eye, 2015, Side by Side Gallery Akim Monet GmbH, Berlin May 1 to July 11, 2015. Auguste RODIN, Otto DIX, Erich HECKEL, Max KAUS, Ernst Ludwig KIRCHNER, Otto MUELLER, Emile NOLDE, Max PECHSTEIN, and Karl SCHMITT-ROTTLUFF This small bronze, cast from a plaster original with very visible seams, probably represents the first phase of a work that was subsequently detached from the tall pedestal it had been placed on. Once removed, the figure was used on its own in many different ways, for example positioned against a plaster panel or attached to the neck of a small alabaster amphora. Combined with two other figures it became the starting point for a larger group, Jeune fille entre deux génies, or Les mauvais Génies, also exhibited in 1900. Its composition bears witness to the research Rodin had been carrying out on the geometrical structure of the human body; it perfectly illustrates the commentaries, published by Camille Mauclair in 1905, in which Rodin observes: “My art arises out of architecture and geometry. A body is a building and a polyhedron.”


Auguste RODIN (1840-1917) Tête de L’Ombre, petit modèle Head of Shade, small version Bronze 37,6 x 28,4 x 32,5 cm 1902-1904 Fonte Godard Ed. 5/8, © by Musée Rodin 1988 PROVENANCE Musée Rodin, Paris

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LITERATURE A. Monet, Auguste Rodin: An Expressionist Eye, 2015 (illustrated) EXHIBITED Auguste Rodin: An Expressionist Eye, 2015, Side by Side Gallery Akim Monet GmbH, Berlin May 1 to July 11, 2015. Auguste RODIN, Otto DIX, Erich HECKEL, Max KAUS, Ernst Ludwig KIRCHNER, Otto MUELLER, Emile NOLDE, Max PECHSTEIN, and Karl SCHMITT-ROTTLUFF This head belongs to one of Rodin’s most famous figures, created around 1880 and used three times to adorn La Porte de l’Enfer, thus inaugurating a bold technique of repetition. The suffering figure of L’Ombre, enlarged by Lebossé in 1901, was profoundly influenced in its overall form by Michelangelo. The face has even been compared with that of the Rebellious Slave in the Louvre, of which Rodin owned a photograph. The features of L’Ombre are those of a damned soul whose suffering is evident. The highly geometrical composition, with the astonishingly perpendicular lines of the profile, makes the head of L’Ombre an ultimate expression of suffering. It is inclined almost horizontally over the contorted body, forming a kind of architrave when three figures are grouped together.


Auguste RODIN (1840-1917) Sphinge sur colonne Sphinx on column Bronze 93,4 x 16 x 22,3 cm 1900 Fonte Godard Ed. III/IV, © by Musée Rodin 1996 PROVENANCE Musée Rodin, Paris

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LITERATURE A. Monet, Auguste Rodin: An Expressionist Eye, 2015 (illustrated) EXHIBITED Auguste Rodin: An Expressionist Eye, 2015, Side by Side Gallery Akim Monet GmbH, Berlin May 1 to July 11, 2015. Auguste RODIN, Otto DIX, Erich HECKEL, Max KAUS, Ernst Ludwig KIRCHNER, Otto MUELLER, Emile NOLDE, Max PECHSTEIN, and Karl SCHMITT-ROTTLUFF This small female nude with its questioning attitude first appears on the right-hand leaf of La Porte de l’Enfer. It was displayed for the first time in 1990 at the Georges Petit gallery, as a pendant to Le Succube. However, Rodin seems to have taken a particular interest in the figure after the exhibition at the Pavillon de l’Alma, and subsequently used it alone in several assemblages. He was particularly pleased with the way it was shown on a small fluted column at this exhibition, and gave a plaster copy to the Musée des Beaux-Arts of Lyon in 1903, then another in bronze to Arthur Symons (Tate Gallery, London). A product of Rodin’s research on the presentation and orientation of his exhibited works, La Sphinge sur colonne was the first work he reproduced together with its pedestal in bronze, giving the whole ensemble the status of an artwork.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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About the Musée Rodin The Musée Rodin contains the largest collection of the sculptor’s works at two sites, in Paris, at the Hôtel Biron, and in Meudon, site of his former home, atelier, and reserve collection. Created in 1916, thanks to Auguste Rodin’s donation of his works and his collections to the French State, it opened in 1919. About Side By Side Gallery Akim Monet Side by Side Gallery Akim Monet GmbH opened in the Fall of 2011 in Berlin. The gallery holds three exhibitions a year curated by Akim Monet, focusing on themes that juxtapose  artists from different periods in order to explore and re-contextualize works of art.  By revealing thematic correlations, Side by Side Gallery Akim Monet moves beyond a singular chronological presentation to reveal converging currents and lasting influences.


We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for their unfailing support to Madame Catherine Chevillot,  director of the  Musée Rodin, Paris; to Mr. Hugues Herpin,  chargé de Mission of the moral right of Auguste Rodin; and lastly but not least, to Mr. Jérôme Le Blay of the Comité Rodin.

akim monet THE ALMA PROJECT

SIDE BY SIDE GALLERY

All images are copyright 2015 © Musée Rodin, Paris; © Side by Side Gallery Akim Monet, Berlin & © Galya Feierman Photography, Berlin. Texts are copyright 2015 © Musée Rodin, Paris; © Side by Side Gallery Akim Monet, Berlin.


A NOTE FROM THE MUSÉE RODIN RESPECTING RODIN’S MORAL RIGHT A warning to collectors about the notion of authenticity 50

THE MUSÉE RODIN HAS A MISSION: TO ENSURE THE SCULPTOR’S MORAL RIGHT IS RESPECTED By three donations made on 1 April, 13 September and 25 October 1916, accepted by the law of 22 December 1916, Auguste Rodin donated all his works to the French State, together with the artistic property rights attaching to them. The Musée Rodin is vested with the capacity of Rodin’s beneficiary as defined by the legal provisions concerning literary and artistic property. Under the terms of Decree No. 93-163, passed on 2 February 1993, the principal task of the museum is to “make known Rodin’s work and ensure the moral right attaching to it is respected” (Article 2).


ORIGINAL EDITIONS IN BRONZE Article R. 122-3 of the Code de la Propriété Intellectuelle [Intellectual Property Code] stipulates that editions of sculptures limited to twelve numbered casts, including artist’s copies, are considered to be original works of art. In accordance with Decree no. 93–163, relating to the Musée Rodin, passed on 2 February 1993 and consolidated on 7 December 2005, the museum limits its original editions to twelve casts, numbered 1/8 to 8/8 and I/IV to IV/IV, including the existing original editions. REPRODUCTIONS Decree no. 81–255 of 3 March 1981 on stamping out fraud in transactions of works of art and collectables stipulates that any facsimile, aftercast, copy or other reproduction of a work of art or collectable must be described as such (Article 8). Consequently, the terms “reproduction” and “aftercast” must be mentioned on invoices and in catalogues, articles and, more generally, in all relevant documents.


Furthermore, any facsimile, aftercast, copy or other reproduction of an original work of art executed after the decree of 3 March 1981 came into force must be marked “Reproduction” in a visible and indelible manner (Article 9). “Visible” is taken to mean “immediately legible”, without it being necessary to look for the mark “Reproduction”. This requirement is not fulfilled if the search involves handling the object or turning it upside down. The word “Reproduction” should be inscribed in hollow or high relief on the base or on the figure itself in a visible manner. The Musée Rodin’s sales department offers reproductions of Rodin’s works for sale. All are marked “Reproduction” in a visible and indelible manner. To avoid confusion with original editions in bronze, these casts are made in resin. BEWARE OF CONFUSING ORIGINAL EDITIONS IN BRONZE WITH REPRODUCTIONS! The Musée Rodin reports the presence of a growing number of bronze “reproductions” or “aftercasts”, whose appearance fosters


confusion with original casts authorized by the artist or the Musée Rodin. When put up for sale, these “reproductions” or “aftercasts” are often accompanied by documents, notably certificates attesting to their alleged “authenticity”. The confusion thus created enables “works” to be ascribed quality sought after by collectors: rareness. One may cite, for example, copies of The Thinker, The Age of Bronze and even the Monument to the Burghers of Calais. Since the original edition in bronze is frequently complete, any new edition of these sculptures in bronze can only be reproductions and casting them without the mark “Reproduction” constitutes an infringement of Rodin’s moral right. The Musée Rodin wishes to remind the public that it refuses to allow anyone to use moulds and original plaster models from Rodin’s studio now in the museum’s collections. Any statement to the contrary, claiming that the museum has authorized the use of works or moulds in its possession can consequently only conceal an attempt to sell a work under false pretences. More at: http://www.musee-rodin.fr/en/professionals/respecting-moral-right


CATALOGUE DESIGN Anne-Marie Visconti Claudio Fortugno Akim Monet 2015 Š Side by Side Gallery Akim Monet GmbH


akim monet SIDE BY SIDE GALLERY Potsdamer Strasse 81b 10785 Berlin - Germany T. +49-30-25 46 09 44 F. +49-30-25 46 09 45 info@sidebysidegallery.com www.sidebysidegallery.com

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Chosen Works from the Musée Rodin  

In the spring of 2015, I was able to obtain a carefully chosen selection of works from the Musée Rodin. In addition to the intrinsic beauty...

Chosen Works from the Musée Rodin  

In the spring of 2015, I was able to obtain a carefully chosen selection of works from the Musée Rodin. In addition to the intrinsic beauty...