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Auguste Rodin - (French  (born in France), 1840–1917), Danaïd, 1889, bronze, 30.5 x 61.6 x 44.5 cm. Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Gift from The Salgo Trust for Education, 2015-179. Photo: Ernest Mayer.

WINNIPEG.- The Winnipeg Art Gallery is celebrating Auguste Rodin with an exhibition of work by the 19th-century French sculptor and other artists he inspired. Starting with Rodin brings together nearly 30 works of art from the WAG’s permanent collection to reflect on the significant presence of Rodin in art history, his adaptation of earlier classical themes, and impact on later modernists. The exhibit runs until Spring 2017.  

Starting with Rodin highlights several recent donations to the WAG, chiefly the major bronze Danaïd (1889-90) from the Salgo Trust for Education, New York. Danaïd was initially modeled for inclusion in Rodin’s monumental Gates of Hell (1880-1917), but ultimately was left freestanding and unincorporated. The bronze depicts, with a frank eroticism that is still shocking, a femme fatal who, according to Greek mythology, murders her husband.  

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Auguste Rodin - (French, 1840–1917), Tȇte de Danseuse, c. 1880. bronze. 11 x 9.5 x 10.8 cm. Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Gift of an anonymous donor, 2015-20. Photo: Ernest Mayer

Auguste Rodin is one of the most recognized names in the art world and is widely considered the father of modern sculpture,” states Stephen Borys, WAG Director & CEO. “We are honoured by the donation made by the Salgo Trust for Education to the WAG, and what better way to mark 176 years of Rodin than with an exhibition celebrating his lasting impact!” 

Rodin’s work is rife with classical references, and this exhibition brings together a wide range of experiences: artists and artisans from antique Rome, the Austrian Baroque (Paul Strudel), and French Neo-Classicism (Jean-Bertrand Andrieu), who through their rendering of the human form, anticipate the French artist’s singular approach. However, through his emphasis on the fragment, the erotic, and an aesthetic of the “unfinished,” Rodin is largely credited as initiating modern sculpture. Visitors will also encounter the work of artists such as André Kertész, Henry Moore, Elizabeth Wyn Wood, Caroline Dukes, and other examples of European and Canadian Modernism.  

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André Kertész, (American (born in Hungary), 1894–1985), Satiric Dancer, Paris, 1926, silver print on paper, 25.2 x 20.3 cm.  Image: 24.6 x 19.7 cm. Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Gift of an anonymous donor, G-85-249. Photo: Ernest Mayer

Given the WAG’s relative strength in modern sculpture and Rodin’s importance to its development, now is the perfect occasion to organize an exhibition concerning Rodin’s influence on modern sculpture from a Classical-Academic ideal towards the various modalities of Modernism,” states Oliver Botar, guest curator and Professor of Art History at the University of Manitoba and Curator of the Salgo Trust for Education.

November 12, 2016 to February 5, 2017

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Auguste Rodin, FrenchLe Penseur (The Thinker), 1902. Bronze. On loan from a private collection, 2778.001. Photo: Ernest Mayer