H. de Roos - The critique of the toronto exhibition



Also for the bronze casts, Sarah Milroy seems to have seen things that stay hidden to a normal mortalīs eyes:

The two 1999-2000 castings of The Age of Bronze made by the Gruppo Mondiale, for example, don't show the sculptor to best advantage. They seem strikingly generalized compared to the earlier Edmonton Art Gallery version beside which they stand. The wrists are thicker and less defined, ribs have melted away, fingers are swollen, the musculature seems less closely observed. As one would feel looking at photographs of photographs, one senses the ever so subtle loss of texture and detail. Or not so subtle, like the gargantuan 1999-2000 Thinker in bronze which has for weeks graced the lobby of the ROM, a bloated and disfigured monster of a thing that leaves one fantasizing about pigeon target-practice but not much else.

From: Rodin – Truly A Bust, by Sarah Milroy, Toronto Globe, 22 Sept. 2001

Standing on my toes to inspect wrists and fingers of the life-size Age of Bronze from all sides, I could not find them suspiciously swollen. And having spent quite some time in April photographing the matching cast in the Haags Gemeentemuseum, Holland, acquired in 1930, I cannot confirm the Den Haag bronze shows the sculptor to any better advantage.
Yes, two ribs on the right-hand side of the small version (left for the viewer) have lost their contour, still visible in the corresponding plaster. But a judgement of all Gruppo Mondiale bronzes in the show just based on this detail also seems "strikingly generalized" to me. What about the Barbedienne cast of the Kiss, exhibited at the Museo Soumaya in Mexico, showing a real serious loss of texture and detail? [See Part I, page 7 ]

Yes, that big black Thinker in the Rotunda, with its dramatically convulsed back muscles, certainly does not have Brad Pittīs angel appeal. But isnīt that true for all those other big pensive Poets as well? Isnīt it fairer to acknowledge the enlargement by Henri Lebossé, - usually executed with a dark patina -, appears rather menacing and gloomy in all known bronze casts? 

Why not abandon that false respect and say, the Great Master himself has created an Arnold Schwarzenegger type Terminator here, contemplating his mission while the End of Days unrolls underneath his feet? If Sarah Milroy wants to fantasize, then why not let the mind drift in that direction?




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