Auguste Rodin is a widely renowned sculptor, whose famous work named “The Thinker” resides in the Rodin Sculpture Garden. However, he has also made drawings, which he considered as the key to his work. You may be a little surprised to know they are part of his oeuvre. The “Rodin Cut-Outs” exhibition at Musée Rodin Paris presents to you almost 250 drawings of the master. Ninety of these works are characterized by cutting as well as assembly of figures. This process reveals cut-out silhouettes that are audacious and a dynamic of wonderful modernity. The exhibition touches upon one of the groundbreaking modes of expression of the twentieth century.
“I have a great weakness for these little sheets of paper,” confessed Rodin about the attachment that drew him. Right from the beginning, the artist often practiced live drawing also. They were part of exhibitions that were held in tribute to him in many European places towards the late 1890’s and in the early 1900’s. The Musée Rodin preserves most of Rodin’s drawn works, which totals around 7,500 sheets.
His initial drafts were put through a range of metamorphoses. While transferring drawings, Rodin found the stroke that suited him, laid the color down using watercolor, cut-out figures, arranged and assembled these figures with others, and gradually made an unexpected output.
Right from the early days, Auguste Rodin proceeded to cut sketches and drawings he pasted in many albums. In the 1900’s, he cut out many watercolor drawings, which make the heart and soul of this exposition in Paris. By cutting them, the artist liked to manipulate them, place them in spaces in many ways and cut them in a deliberately approximate manner.
Rodin played with the tiny paper shapes, as he would do with plaster. Putting his cut-outs into perspective with sculptures’ three-dimensionality elevates them to a fresh “object” that falls between sculpture and two-dimensional drawing.
In another series, Auguste Rodin used them to make combinations he mounted upon new support, and interlaced the figures in a fresh composition. These drawn and cut-out works are not just technical accessories but are works of art that have dynamic silhouettes that mirror Matisse’s modernity.
The curator of the exhibition, Sophie Biass-Fabiani, who is the Cultural Heritage Curator at the Musée Rodin, says that these artworks are one-of-its-kind and make for one of the best attractions of Paris. You can take part in the exposition through April 07, 2019, when on a Rodin Museum tour.