Akim Monet Side by Side Gallery, Berlin, in partnership with the Musée Rodin, Paris and a private lender, presents its 17th exhibition: Curses, Blasphemies, Lamentations. The juxtaposition of sixteen prints from the series "Los Caprichos" by Francisco de Goya with four bronze sculptures from the Musée Rodin will show how both artists sought to capture human nature.
The 19th century witnessed a turning point in art; artists distanced themselves from the subjects dictated by religious and collector patrons. The plight of laypeople and their inner feelings were addressed. When Francisco de Goya created his series "Los Caprichos" (1797-1798), he stood at the threshold of the century that saw the birth of modernity. Through his exceptional treatment of antique and popular myths, he opened the doors to this “new art”, and just fifty years later, he was included by Charles Baudelaire, alongside Peter Paul Rubens, Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt van Rijn, in the poem "Les Phares" (engl. "The Beacons", in: "The Flowers of Evil", Chapter 7, 1857), from which stems the title of the present exhibition. At the end of the 19th century, Auguste Rodin also addressed human nature in his artistic endeavor. Just like Goya, the sculptor turned to antique myths and literature, which he used as a point of departure in his quest to address the complexities of humanity. This conceptual framework made Goya a trailblazer of modernity, and one hundred years later it allowed Auguste Rodin to be credited as the “father of modern sculpture.”
Although Goya was the court painter for the Spanish king, during the 1790’s he produced numerous works that criticized Spanish society and disturbed the established codes. One of his most famous suites from this period is "Los Caprichos". In eighty prints, the artist portrayed the depths of human nature in a bizarre and disturbing way. Equally, the study of mankind was at the center of Rodin’s oeuvre. With his precise observation and his deep interest in human nature and psychology, he produced a multitude of sculptures and studies, which to this day inform and influence the practice of art.
The two bronze sculptures by Auguste Rodin, "Médée" and "Châtiment", are the centerpieces of the exhibition. These sculptures were cast in spring 2017 for the centenary of Rodin’s death, and they are therefore considered as so called inédits – sculptures that existed only as clay or plaster molds that were never cast in bronze until now. The new subjects were introduced at the Musée Rodin on March 13, 2017. Akim Monet Side by Side Gallery is honored to present these outstanding works to the public for the very first time.