Sculpture Since Rodin
By 1900, famous sculptor Auguste Rodin and others of his cohort successfully renovated the traditional practice of sculpture — the academic modeling of ideal figures based on neoclassical precedents in celebration of national heroes, institutions and middle class values. In its place, arose the beginning of ‘modern sculpture’–the conveyance of the sculptor’s personalized vision of man in contemporary society. This lecture course will explore closely such sculpture and its critical revisions throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Key sculptural models of focus will include direct carving, constructed sculpture, and thereadymade or found object. Mapping modern sculpture’s passage from its principle of ‘truth to materials’ in the face of the world’s growing industrialization to its eventual collapse with the everyday commodity, together these models reveal the historic instability of the medium’s form, meaning and purpose. Attending to the writings of leading theorists, critics, and practitioners, we will examine modern sculpture from its inception to its recent manifestation as an art seeking to reestablish for sculpture a basis that is both more structurally specific and conceptually secure.