Gagosian Gallery, Paris
11 February, 2011 – 25 March, 2011
4 Rue de Ponthieu, 75008 Paris
+33 175 00 05 92

“Rodin – Sugimoto” is an exhibition of both the sculpture of Auguste Rodin and the photography of Hiroshi Sugimoto. Three monumental sculptures spanning the last thirty years of Rodin’s career represent the force and vigor of his approach, which emphasized the quality of flesh while suggesting emotion through detailed, textured surfaces and the interplay of light and shadow upon them.

Rodin’s sculptures are shown here in unexpected and unprecedented combination with a series of photographs by Hiroshi Sugimoto, one of the world’s most admired living photographers. Sugimoto works with time as his clay, exploring the relation of images sculpted in light and shade to the evolution of history. For the series
Stylized Sculpture (2007), he selected distinctive garments by celebrated couturiers from the collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute -- from Vionnet’s precociously modern T-dress and Balenciaga’s wasp-waisted billowing ensemble to Yves St Laurent’s strict geometric Mondrian shift and Issey Miyake’s sail-like slip. Each in
its own way represents a pivotal moment in twentieth century fashion history, its corporeal dynamics crystallized by the steady gaze of the camera lens.

Shot in chiaroscuro on headless mannequins, and thus removed from the context of the human body and its emotive associations and specificities, the garments reveal their pure formal qualities in terms of dramatic contrasts in form, volume, and surface. Sugimoto captures the abstract, sculptural nature intrinsic to the history of clothing – a history as ancient as humanity itself – and in so doing, depicts the eternity beyond the evanescence.