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Auguste Rodin, Titan 1, 1879-1880 (original clay model, posthumously? cast in bronze), Cast bronze, Height: 14 in. (35.6 cm), Element from the Vase of the Titans (Vase des Titans). Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, The Joel Starrels, Jr. Memorial Collection, 1974.175.

The Hysterical Material

From September 14 to December 17, 2017
Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

This is a show about feelings: how feelings are communicated, represented, and produced both in the materiality of the body and in the materials of sculpture. The exhibition investigates the emotional possibility of material in works by two leading artists of Western art history, Auguste Rodin (1840–1917) and Bruce Nauman (born 1941).

Both artists often employ segments of the body—hands, arms, heads—as well as the pure matter of traditional sculptural materials. However, they do so in very different ways. While Rodin was a master of conflating representation and material, Nauman uses figurative representation to plumb the depths of the psychological body.
This exhibition features nine sculptures and works on paper from the Smart Museum and other collections. It places works by Rodin and Nauman into unusual spatial relationships, calling attention to the artists’ mutual artistic concerns while also focusing a lens on how each sculptor conceives of the body as an emotional instrument, something not always understood by the rational mind.

> Learn more about the exhibition

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