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Rodin : Figures érotiques

Musée Rodin, until 18 march 2007.

 I drawn all my life, I began my life while drawing.  I never ceased drawing. Any young person, also far it I remember me drew.” Soft confession, like the been obstinated sigh, of a colossus of the sculpture whose Museum which carries its name has more than 7 000 drawings (out of the 9 000 indexed). This invaluable funds contains drawings of female subjects selected by Domenica Viéville, director of the Rodin Museum, Christina Bulet-Uribe and by Helene Pinet, for an exhibition entitled Rodin :  Figures of Eros. We discover there five sculptures but especially 140 drawings and erotic watercolours carried out between 1890 and 1917, of which much seldom proposed with admiration public. Eroticism. That would apply rather well to certain obscenities of Rodin, which one sees nothing any more but the genius. There is certainly in these works of the impudor, of indecency, never sordid sometimes even merry but also frank crudeness been useful however by an incomparable graphic virtuosity. And chromatics: these yellows, color of the desire, or these incredible pinks for example, which return the flesh, the half-opened sexes of an almost real evocative power which can cause a disorder that the either plane representation but in three dimensions of the sculpture, supposedly more explicit, could not reach.  There are, moreover, these abundant chevelures, these variations on the gestures of the pleasure, saphic complicities, this mixture of anatomical precision and ellipses, this great art of contours and the points of meetings between what of impavides clinicians to the morose lexicon “erotogenic zones could” even “call characters secondary sexual”. Add to that the reputation and the temperament of the artist (“This flesh who returns to me so attentive”), of the hot atmosphere of its workshop, these hundreds of young models (which was sometimes its mistresses), selected dancers professional in the Opéra Comique like Alda Moreno or of pretty young ladies walking in a market specialized Pigalle place, and one has very to attract the man and nevertheless man who does not have anything against collateral emotions with contemplation of these drawings whose Rilke said that they were “the extreme point” of his work. It will be disappointed. These watercolours do not have anything of émoustillant nor of erotic, they gave place besides to no puritan uproar during their first public exhibition, in 1900, with the House of Alma.
The interest is elsewhere and it is purely artistic. The exhibition is the occasion, almost didactic to see what to draw wants to say. Rodin uses in these series all the techniques of the drawing (and sometimes their coexistence in only one work) with an impressive effectiveness: initially, an extraordinary safety and flexibility of the feature and curve. To what are added an ease in the gouache who makes think of Egon Schiele at whom one can see some resemblances to Rodin of these watercolours: the fragile Viennese and Herculéen vis-a-vis the same gaping. And which returned movement, trembled, the vaporous one and clearness. The exhibition is also a masterly lesson of art. And attractive when it is known that the artist drew his models moving without never looking at the sheet: “My hands feel already what my eyes see.”
There is like a wonder in this seizure fugitive, imperceptible and final, something which perhaps raises of “exploding fixes” André Breton dreamed.
One is in full obviousness, that of art like gesture striking down and revealing, that, of course, of the representation of the body and singularly of nudity, that quite simply of the beauty which hides sometimes in blacknesses and the enigmas without name that Dante and Baudelaire explored whose Rodin illustrated the Hell and the Flowers of the evil.

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