Rodin - Maillol : Face to face - June 22 to Nov. 03, 2019
Musée d’art Hyacinthe Rigaud
21, rue Mailly
This summer, the Hyacinthe Rigaud Art Museum is celebrating sculpture and offering its visitors the opportunity to attend an artistic dialogue between two geniuses: Auguste Rodin and Aristide Maillol.
For its third major summer exhibition, the Perpignan Museum invites visitors to an absolutely unprecedented dialogue between these two great sculptors, who have marked modern art with their talent.
If historiography easily contrasts the work of these two artists as a symptom of a century change, the exhibition aims to overcome this cleavage to highlight the dialogue that will be established between the two men.
An exhibition based on exchange
Indeed, if Rodin and Maillol both revolutionized sculpture, they knew how to exchange, dialogue and nourish their art with the admiration of the other. The meeting probably took place in 1902. Relations were dense, as evidenced by Count Harry Kessler's diary, among others, to stretch after 1908. Their correspondence, their writings, their encounters, their formal research... so many paths to follow for this exhibition which wishes to bring their works to life. If the female nude remains the motive on which both men tirelessly return, the two men approach it differently: while Rodin cannot do without observing the model whose most intimate gestures or most unexpected attitudes he grasps on flight to remain as close as possible to nature, Maillol maintains a distance from it because he seeks the appeasement of a formal synthesis.
The scenography gives pride of place to the dialogues between the works of these two sculptors, highlighting their differences but also highlighting the strength of their art that opened the door to modernity.
Encounters, Approaches to sculpture, Towards modernity
The exhibition is structured along these three main lines.
Born in 1840, Rodin belongs to the generation preceding Maillol (born in 1861). The 1900 exhibition brought him to the pinnacle of fame. His place in the artistic panorama of the late 19th century is evoked here by his most famous work, Le Penseur. Maillol, even before meeting him, admires him; but the two artists have taken different paths: their works testify to this.
A pivotal year in the history of sculpture, 1905 saw a dialogue between the works of the two artists. Translating each in its own way the power of expression of the body, they lead to radically opposite results.
Finally, both opening the door to modernity, they each left two unfinished works.
An allegorical figure representing the poetry in the monument to Victor Hugo, Rodin's Meditation was enlarged in 1896 without arms or right knee and remained so, with very visible mould marks.
Maillol's last work, L'Harmonie, of which we know four states, is also unfinished: however, our gaze recognizes the same perfection as in Meditation and perhaps encourages us to ask ourselves the question of its unfinished nature.
A new major summer exhibition for the museum after Picasso and Dufy, which benefits from the support of the Rodin Museum and the Maillol Museum, which grant Perpignan an absolutely exceptional loan of works.