Six degrees of separation: From Rodin to Hodgkin

Published 16 September 2016

How do the French sculptor’s studies of dancers link to Hodgkin’s latest works on paper? Sam Phillips joins the dots, by taking in six autumn shows.

    • Auguste Rodin, Cambodian Dancer in Profile

      Auguste Rodin, Cambodian Dancer in Profile, 1906—7.

      Pencil, watercolour and gouache on paper. 30 x 19.7 cm. Musée Rodin, Paris.

      1. Rodin and Dance


      As a sculptor obsessed with the human body and its every expressive movement, Rodin tackled head-on, late in life, his greatest challenge: the representation of dance. From about 1911 he began the series ‘Dance Movements’, small clay figures whose acrobatic twists recalled the radical choreography of Isadora Duncan. The Courtauld in London’s Somerset House presents the first UK show of the series, together with related works on paper.

      20 October — 22 January 2017

    • 2. Design Bienniale


      Before Rodin’s sculptures take the spotlight, the spaces of Somerset House are filled with objects weird and wonderful for the inaugural edition of the London Design Biennale. Participating nations, ranging from Italy and Sweden to Nigeria and South Africa, are displaying products, plans and prototypes. The theme is Utopia, to tie into the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s publication of the same name, and contributions include solutions to flooding, urban blight and global aid delivery.

      7 — 27 September

      Porky Hefer, Dora Esca

      Porky Hefer, Dora Esca.

      Credit Justin Patrick.

    • Orazio Gentileschi, David and Goliath

      Orazio Gentileschi, David and Goliath, c.1605—8.

      Oil on canvas. 185.5 × 136 cm. © The National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.

      3. Orazio Gentileschi


      Underneath Somerset House lie 17th–century graves that date to the time when a royal chapel was on site. Orazio Gentileschi was buried there, and although the grave has been destroyed, his canvases can still be seen at the National Gallery, in ‘Beyond Caravaggio’.

      12 October – 15 January 2017

    • 4. Queen’s House


      A favourite of Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria, Gentileschi produced paintings for a ceiling at the Queen’s House, Greenwich. But in the early 18th-century Queen Anne gifted them all to the Duchess of Marlborough. To coincide with the restoration of the Queen’s House for its 400th anniversary, Richard Wright, famous for his intricately patterned site-specific works (such as The Stairwell Project in the Dean Gallery, Edinburgh, pictured), has been commissioned to fill the blank panels.

      From 11 October

      Richard Wright, The Stairwell Project (Dean Gallery, Edinburgh)

      Richard Wright, The Stairwell Project (Dean Gallery, Edinburgh), 2010.

      © Richard Wright. Courtesy the artist and Gagosian Gallery. Photo: Antonia Reeve.

    • Helen Marten, They Flush Fuchsia

      Helen Marten, They Flush Fuchsia, 2015.

      Screen printing and painting on leather, suede, cotton, velvet; stained and sprayed Ash. Photograph: Annik Wetter, Geneva © Helen Marten Courtesy of Sadie Coles HQ, London, Koenig Galerie, Berlin, Greene Naftali, New York, T293, Naples and Rome.

      5. Helen Marten


      Wright won the Turner Prize in 2009; the smart money is on Helen Marten to win this year, ahead of the accompanying show at Tate Britain. Marten’s eclectic installations, collages and assemblages arrange both found and crafted objects and images, suggesting intriguing ideas and stories in the process. Her show at London’s Serpentine Sackler Gallery includes They Flush Fuchsia (pictured).

      Turner Prize, 27 September – 2 January 2017
      Helen Marten: Drunk Brown House, 29 September – 20 November

    • 6. Howard Hodgkin


      In 1985, the year of Helen Marten’s birth, it was the painter Howard Hodgkin who won the Turner Prize. This autumn, to launch Alan Cristea Gallery’s new premises in London’s Pall Mall, Hodgkin presents new works that fuse printmaking and painting techniques.

      5 October – 18 November

      Howard Hodgkin, Autumn Sky (From 'After All')

      Howard Hodgkin, Autumn Sky (From 'After All'), 2015-16.

      Hand-painted carborundum relief. Paper and image 40.0 x 40.0 cm. Courtesy Howard Hodgkin and Alan Cristea Gallery, London.


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