A new exhibition at the In artibus Foundation will show how three of the most important French sculptors of the early 20th century worked – Auguste Rodin, Aristide Maillol, and Charles Despiot. The exhibition will include about 70 graphic works, complemented by a small sculpture from the collection of Inna Bazhenova.
Sculptors’ drawings are traditionally considered an auxiliary product of the creative process, a kind of “kitchen” of the artist. The exhibition at the In artibus Foundation on the example of the works of three contemporaries and compatriots: Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), Aristide Maillol (1861-1944), and Charles Despiot (1874-1946) is designed to show that sculptors’ graphics are an independent field of art worthy of respectful attention.
“The sculptor’s drawing differs both from easel graphics and from the “painter’s drawing”. Sculpture is a three–dimensional art, and drawing is two-dimensional. It is interesting to observe how the sculptor looks for form in the drawing, turning the model in various ways, how he finds its graphic embodiment, and how he draws – in a specifically sculptural way in order to maintain a balance between the illusion of space and the form he wants to immerse in this space” (Elena Rudenko, curator of the exhibition).
The presented works and their selection are a curious opportunity to “look into the kitchen” not so much by sculptors as by a collector – Inna Bazhenova.
“In my collection there are many examples of the correlation of plane and volume (from the traditional Chinese gongshi stone and its image on a scroll of the XVI century, to the recognizable works of Henry Moore), this topic has always fascinated me. For the exhibition, we have selected works by famous, seemingly “obvious” artists united by time, country and even school, and the exhibition will show how different they are, how everything is not easy with their clear drawings, and how interesting it is – sometimes more interesting than sculpture” (Inna Bazhenova, founder of the In artibus Foundation).
The lyricist Rodin, the intuitionist Maill and the analyst Despio, united by one time and space, were familiar with each other, their mutual influence is noticeable. The famous maitre Rodin highly appreciated the sculpture of Maillol, and the young Despio worked in his studio. In particular, the famous portrait of Varvara Eliseeva from the State Hermitage Museum is not only the work of Rodin. The portrait was executed by Despio, who often translated the master’s works into marble. “I knew you would do a good thing,” Rodin said when he saw the finished bust, “but I didn’t think it would be so beautiful.”
The exhibition “Drawings of Sculptors” gives a rare opportunity to see a series of 50 drawings by Aristide Maillol, made in a few days in 1916. The audience will also be interested in the works of Charles Despio, which are not often found in the expositions of Russian museums. As Auguste Rodin said when he saw the “Paulette” of Despiot, then a relatively young and unknown sculptor, at the exhibition in 1907, “this is a work for connoisseurs” – the exhibition in the In artibus Foundation promises to be the same.