In this exhibition, the Museé Rodin has brought together the work of two artists – the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and the sculptor Auguste Rodin. It presents 50 sculptures by Rodin and a collection of 102 photographs, revealing similarities in these two artists’ enduring themes and subjects. Mapplethorpe sought the perfect, sculptural form in his photography, whilst Rodin captured movement and accident in his work.
We spoke to one of the curators, Judith Benhamou-Huet, who commented:
‘This exhibition establishes an imaginary dialogue between Rodin and Mapplethorpe.
Mapplethorpe never made any reference to Auguste Rodin, but from 1979 – a period in which he uses a neo-classical vocabulary – his aim is obviously to create sculptures in photography. Through using the collection of the Rodin museum, myself and the other curators, Hélène Pinet and Hélène Marraud, found pieces where the photographer and the sculptor explore the same ideas.
They focus on detail, they use drapery to emphasise the drama of the shapes, and they place the models in special positions to emphasise the movement or sculptural aspect of their bodies.’
‘Mapplethorpe–Rodin’ is at the Museé Rodin, Paris from 8 April–21 September 2014.