"Traces of Hands: Sculpture and Drawings by Rodin and Bourdelle from the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo" Exhibition
This event has ended.
The NMWA collection today contains 58 sculptures by Auguste Rodin and 11 by Antoine Bourdelle. These works are not only the core of the NMWA sculpture collection, they are also extremely important holdings of sculpture by these two artists in Japan, both in terms of quantity and quality. And yet, up until now only a portion of these works has been placed on permanent display at the museum, and there has never been an opportunity to display them all together. This exhibition features approximately 90 drawings, prints and sculptures by Rodin and Bourdelle from the NMWA collection.
Rodin was born in 1840, and Bourdelle was 21 years younger. Both were artists whose individuality and creativity brightened the realm of French modern sculpture. As society and culture rapidly modernized, Rodin opened new ground in his work as an innovative sculptor with a unique expressive style. Bourdelle, who worked as an assistant in Rodin's studio, was the person closest to Rodin's sculpture. For Rodin, Bourdelle was a talented sculptor of the next generation. For Bourdelle, Rodin was both a mentor he must study under, and at the same time a predecessor he must outdo. Digging deeper into the connection between these men, we can see how their personal interactions not only influenced the works born from that connection, but also how they reflect on the methods used in sculptural production at the time, and the concepts of originality and reproduction in sculpture. The Rodin and Bourdelle works on permanent display in the NMWA Forecourt are familiar to many as the face of the NMWA. We hope that visitors will discover new aspects of these well-known works as they explore and consider the contents of this exhibition.
[Image: Auguste Rodin, "The Thinker" (1881-82) Bronze, Matsukata Collection (c) Norihiro Ueno]