Camille Claudel Shines in Natural Light

Camille Claudel, The Age of Maturity, modeled 1899, cast 1902. Musée d'Orsay

The Getty Center's "Camille Claudel" brings together about 60 works by the pioneering woman sculptor, known for her professional, romantic, and perhaps toxic relationship with Auguste Rodin. It's an essential chapter of late 19th-century art history and also a celebration of light.

Installation view
The latter is ironically due to MeToo harasser Richard Meier. He designed the Getty's Exhibition Pavilion to have plenty of natural overhead light, filtered as needed thorough louvers. In practice, however, the skylights have almost always been blacked out because Getty exhibitions typically mix media and include light-sensitive materials. (Same story at LACMA's Renzo Piano-designed Resnick Pavilion.) 
Camille Claudel, Bust of Léon Lhermitte, modeled and cast 1889-95. Musée Camille Claudel, Nogent-sur-Seine
But in "Camille Claudel," everything is bronze, marble, terracotta, or plaster—all in glorious light. It's a too-rare reminder of how skylights can transform an exhibition. Upon entering the first gallery, you feel you're in a Good Place. The ambient light reaches into the hollows of the bronzes, making Claudel's artistry fully legible.

The sculptures, Claudel's plus a few of Rodin's, are installed on rectilinear pedestals sharing elliptical or biomorphic bases. The bases communicate nonverbally, indicating that pieces are related. The layout leaves space to view sculptures from all sides. Curved lilac-fabric scrims supply a note of color to a largely monochrome show.

"Camille Claudel" runs through July 21, 2024.


Anonymous said…
> The latter is ironically due to MeToo
> harasser Richard Meier.

That article is over 5 years old, but until today I've never read about Meier being like a Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby or (Prince) Andrew Windsor. smh

Lousy judgment, devious social skills, unethical behavior. It's almost like Richard Meier has a Govan/Zumthor blob wedged between his legs.

Quite seriously, there are some dark qualities embedded in the human brain.
Anonymous said…
The skylights often being covered up in both the Getty and LACMA's Resnick galleries is why the floor-to-ceiling windows in the new building that spans Wilshire Blvd probably will be eventually treated the same way.

However, unlike the objects in the Getty Museum's current exhibit, does LACMA have as many good non-light-sensitive artworks worth displaying?