Sculptors As Storytellers

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I always thought that sculptures were more like snapshots, but I learned, after exploring the Rodin exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago, these art works can embody stories.

On one wall is a quote from Robert Louis Stevenson, who claimed that people were weary, in 1886, of “statutes that say nothing” and that Auguste Rodin offered statutes “that live and speak, and speak things worth uttering,” which was clearly evident in this exhibit. These selections by the AIC from its own and private collections showed me how sculpture can, in the serpentine twists, for example, of Eve’s body, evoke and create context. In so doing, it can situate these artworks in the world of storytelling and other forms of meaning-making. 

Auguste Rodin might have been the most famous artist in the world, as the AIC claims, at the beginning of the twentieth century, but he created work that not only remains relevant, and human, and but also surprises, and teaches, me even today.

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