How Much Body

Unreal Nature

… the sculptor’s questioning fingers keep asking how much body a weeping nymph needs for contrition.

This is from the collection Other Criteria: Confrontations with Twentieth-Century Art by Leo Steinberg (2007; 1972). Continuing from last week, the following is from the essay ‘Rodin’ first published in 1963:

… by never ceasing to ask where and how his sculptures can possibly stand, where in space they shall loom or balance, refusing to take for granted even the solid ground, Rodin unsettles the obvious and brings to sculpture that anxious questioning for survival without which no spiritual activity enters this century.

… The hulk of La Terre allows no fringe forms; it is finished without them because what Rodin represents is not really a human body, but a body’s specific gesture, and he retains just so much of the anatomical core as that gesture needs to evolve.

The drift of it…

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