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"Degas, Rodin, and Moore: Bronzes by European Masters"
2001-05-26 until 2001-09-23
Portland Museum of Art
Portland, ME, USA

Degas, Rodin, and Mo(o)re: Bronzes by European Masters will be on view at the Portland Museum of Art from May 26 through September 23, 2001. This exhibition will highlight some 40 bronze sculptures by more than 20 European masters working in the late 19th- and early 20th centuries. The pieces in the exhibition are drawn primarily from the collection of the Otten family and Scott M. Black. Rarely seen works on paper by these artists will complement the three-dimensional representations.

The exhibition offers a varied sampling of bronze sculpture, mostly small scale and predominantly French and German, that chronicles nearly a century of activity. The earliest bronzes to be included date to the 1880s, such as Degas’s Fourth Position Front, on the Left Leg; Jean-Alexandre-Joseph Falguière’s Bust of Diana; and numerous works by Rodin. The most recent pieces were created in the 1960s, Jean Arp’s Shadow of the Orient and Ossip Zadkine’s The Reclining Musician.

Especially evident in this grouping of objects is a continuing tension between naturalism and abstraction, most notably in the first decades of the 20th century, when classicizing nudes (such as those by Maillol) and realistically rendered animals (like François Pompon’s Wild Goose) stood alongside abstracted representations (like Emil Nolde’s The Prophet of 1914 and works by Jacques Lipchitz). Sculptures from later decades reveal even more highly abstracted forms (like Fernand Léger’s The Cock) and non-representational creations (such as Jean Arp’s Plaster of 1940).

This exhibition celebrates the generosity of the Otten family and of Scott M. Black, and offers the viewer a unique opportunity to consider the wide variety of styles and subjects evident in the history of bronze sculpture.


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