Tag Archives: Sculpture

Rodin’s Answer to Rejection.

13 Sep
rodin angels

The Benedictions, executed 1894
Musee Rodin cast number unknown, 1955 bronze
Marked: “A. Rodin”, “Georges Rudier Fondeur Paris”
35 1/2x24x19” Lent by the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Foundation

Attending Syracuse University’s Lunchtime Lecture afforded me the opportunity to hear Professor Romita Ray’s wealth of information and insight into the current show, Rodin: The Human Experience.

This free event is open to the public and gives visitors a chance to familiarize themselves with Rodin and all of the SU Galleries in the Shaffer Art Building on campus.

The show has 28 bronze sculptures all by the French sculptor, Auguste Rodin (1840-1917).  Rodin is considered the father of modern European sculpture and he studied under Antoine Louis-Barye.

Rodin came from a working class family, his father a police inspector and his mother a seamstress.  After he was rejected from Ecole des Beaux-Arts (art school), he worked for sculptor Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse for six years.  After having his sculpture rejected from the Salon several times, he was determined to continue working in his own style.  He was inspired by Michelangelo’s work during his travels to Italy in 1876.  Not long after that his work began receiving positive attention and international fame.

Professor Ray gave insight into the political events that were happening during the time Rodin was creating various sculptures. It was interesting how critics of the era responded.  She took time to describe the actual process of creating a bronze sculpture, which I found very helpful.  She told us how Rodin described sculpting as simply “making holes and bumps”, gave a hand-out full of detail and explained how the Rodin sculptures “Vibrate” power without many details.  It is fascinating to see how this artist was able to give the feeling of flesh and fabric using a metal.  Some of Rodin’s sculptures feature oversized feet, hands or other body parts, which Professor Ray stated “Art is about more than beauty, it’s also about exaggeration.”  I saw the exaggeration as Rodin’s expression of power or strength.

Professor Ray explained that the emotional pieces that were rejected were also the same pieces that later were considered to be masterpieces.  Rodin’s art is considered a link between traditional and modern sculpture and is rich with feeling.

I appreciate artist stories and particularly enjoy hearing the successes – how one persevered, overcame and found success.  What can I take away from this?  Sometimes it’s important to ignore the critics (even if they are only in your own head) and push yourself to create the best work you possibly can.

Syracuse University has many free events, so be sure to check out their art and newsletter here: http://suart.syr.edu/  ♦

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Art Park Inspiration

20 Jul
metal sculpture by Arlene Abend

Arlene Abend “Aggression”

metal ant sculpture by Arlene Abend

Sculpture by Arlene Abend

Inspiration can come from many places but this past weekend I found inspiration at the Arlene Abend Exhibit and Reception.  The event was located at the Stone Quarry Hill Art Park in Cazenovia, New York and hosted by the Cazenovia Counterpoint.  The Stone Quarry Hill Art Parks grounds are open daily from dawn to dusk and has unique outdoor art throughout the 104 acres.  There are four miles of trails with breathtaking views.

Land was purchased in 1958 by Dorothy and Robert Riester and the house and studio at the top of the hill are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Arlene Abend’s reception included a documentary film by Courtney Rile which I found entertaining and inspirational.  Abend is a small woman with a big personality.  She has spent the last four decades creating her wonderful sculptures.  Some of her favorite tools are the welding torch, plasma cutters, vices and grinders.

I found her large sculptures captivating and thought-provoking.  Her story of overcoming challenges was inspiring to me and I was very happy to watch the film by Courtney Rile.  Abend worked as an artist in the field of metal work which was pretty much dominated by men.  She was not deterred but forged ahead with new ideas and techniques.  She has great enthusiasm which motivates me to continue on with my art.

If you are in the area, I would invite you to stop in at the Stone Quarry Art Park to walk some trails, look at some art and then head into town to visit some of the great little shops and restaurants in Cazenovia.

 

Video link   https://vimeo.com/241040476

article: https://www.syracuse.com/good-life/2016/11/woman_of_steel_with_a_welding.html

website link: Stone Quarry Hill Art Park