27. Jun 2021 – 14. Nov 2021
Hommage à Rodin | Hans Arp | 1952/54
»His sculptures are echoes of the lengths of years, are sleeping kisses on dead hands, they are jellyfish with enamel button boots from the century of the waltz«
For the first time, two of the most important innovators of sculpture of their respective centuries meet in a dialogical museum exhibition: Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) and Hans Arp (1886-1966). Hosted by the Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck, more than 100 works from countless museums and collections reveal unimagined relationships between the two pioneers of modern sculpture.
»We are extremely pleased to open, with this show, the highlight exhibition of our thematic year 'Splendidly sculptural'! For the first time, we are juxtaposing Hans Arp with an older artistic position in a 'Rendezvous des amis' – after all, he and Rodin are almost 50 years apart. Even if it is not certain whether the two seminal artists ever met, the ground-breaking aesthetic changes of modernism become tangible in this posthumous encounter«, director Dr Oliver Kornhoff appraises the exhibition.
The show was initially on display at the Fondation Beyeler in Switzerland. In Rolandseck visitors can now expect iconic works such as Rodin’s Thinker or Arp’s Ptolemy III as well as lesser-known works that illustrate the relationships between the two great artists.
The exhibition is the result of a close exchange between curators Astrid von Asten (Arp Museum) and Dr Raphaël Bouvier (Fondation Beyeler), who took the initiative for the exhibition.
The innovative spirit of Auguste Rodin made a lasting impression on Hans Arp, who was born half a century later. His literary and artistic examinations of the world-famous master bear witness to this. However, the exhibition by no means traces a linear development. Rather, it is about recognising an interrelation between the two artists through comparative observation, as the curator of the Fondation Beyeler, Dr Raphaël Bouvier, explains: »The imaginary interrelationship between the works proves to be quite invigorating with regard to both artists, as it opens up new perspectives. Their respective influential and standard-setting creative work activates each other and brings us new visual experiences and insights«.
»Like their works, also the dialogue between Rodin and Arp is of timeless relevance,« underlines the curator of the Arp Museum’s Arp Collection, Astrid von Asten, »Free of academic constraints, both stand at the beginning of a new era of sculpture. At the same time, they are united by a range of significant principles of visual art, which the younger artist consequently transfers into abstraction. We would like to invite our visitors to rediscover this ground-breaking progress in the direct juxtaposition of the works.«
To this end, the show brings together works in pairs and groups that allow visitors to experience the formal, topical and conceptual connections. This open and free interplay accentuates certain artistic aspects, but primarily aims to offer visual and content-related impulses for the viewer’s own contemplation. When facing the sculptures, the congeniality of the two artists is revealed. Every time one walks around them, takes a look and studies them, new associations are called forth and ingenious references become visible.
An exhibition of the Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck, Remagen, conceived by the Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel. Curated by Astrid von Asten, Arp Museum and Dr Raphaёl Bouvier, Fondation Beyeler. Organised in collaboration with the Musée Rodin, Paris.