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Vue de l'oeuvre
Wang Keping at work
Close to nature, just like Rodin was, the artist will be working live under the audience’s eye, on four monumental sculptures in the making, in the vast space of the underforest. Wang Keping works straight from whole tree trunks, from which he knows how to conjure up sensual forms, full of emotion and poetry. This invitation, a first for the musée Rodin, is a unique chance for the public to discover the artist in action and the artwork in the making.
Open air studio
From May 3rd to June 5th 2022, the artist will be at his open-air studio on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays afternoons, weather permitting.
He will also attend the 2022 edition of the 'Nuit des musées' on May 14th.
Don't miss the live broadcasts of selected sessions from the Rodin Museum's Instagram account.
'Rodin was the first sculptor I discovered'
Wang Keping was born near Beijing in 1949, into an educated, cultured family. Prevented by political censorship from fulfilling his artistic dreams, he co-founded the Chinese avant-garde ‘Stars’ group in 1979. Following government suppression of their first exhibitions, he moved to France in 1984 and went on to develop a very personal sculptural language combining the manual dexterity he values so highly, a mastery of Chinese tradition, and a highly contemporary expressiveness.
Modelled in clay or carved from wood, the works created by Auguste Rodin and Wang Keping use very different means and materials, but testify to the artists’ shared conviction that life and nature are the true sources of all inspiration and reflect their exceptional sensitivity to the gifts those sources offer.
Rodin enjoyed having visits from other artists and exchanging with them. Ever since it was founded, his museum has pursued the tradition of inviting contemporary sculptors to work and exhibit within its walls. This year, our guest artist is Wang Keping, who will set up an open-air sculpture studio, until 5 June 2022, in the wooded part of the garden, where he will complete four large works. Once finished, they will resemble his sculpture L’Amour des Forêts (wood carving, evergreen oak, 2019).
'Wood whispers its secrets to me'
With great economy of means, carving the wood or even the tree itself; his sculptures reflect his interest in the fertility of nature, in its resonance with the female body. His figurative work goes beyond mere imitation, unleashing the evocative power of simple, primitive and universal forms. To express beauty, love, and the inherent eroticism of the body
His sculptures stem from the same, unchanging procedure. He begins by searching in the nearby forests for the tree whose natural characteristics (branches, knots, irregularities…) suggest the form of the future sculpture. Once the chosen trunk is in his studio, the artist gets to grips with the material, removing the bark, following the wood with a chainsaw to rough out the initial shape, then working with ever finer tools to bring out the desired form. He then leaves it to dry in the open air, allowing nature to take over again by creating random cracks, which the sculptor respects as an integral part of his work. The lengthy finishing process, entailing repeated sanding and burning, gives his sculptures their smooth, soft and very sensual skin.
This is the finishing process that visitors are invited to watch. Wang Keping’s four large sculptures, standing like trees among the trees, carved from a single block and created in close collaboration with nature, testify to the evocative power and poetry of the artist’s work. Once assembled and placed on the ground by the artist, the four monumental figures interact, while their charred and sanded surfaces gradually acquire a silky, glossy texture of a deep black colour. Under the effect of light, this patina intensifies the curve of each profile and the patterns created by the grain and rings of the wood.
From the studio to the Gardens
Vue de l'oeuvre
77, rue de Varenne, 75007, Paris
From May 3rd to June 5th 2022
The Rodin museum is open everyday except on Mondays.
From 10 to 6.30pm.
Full price : 13 €
- Mobilité réduite