Rodin and Dunikowski at the National Museum in Kraków.
Two fascinating personalities, two artists discovering different artistic directions, yet at the same time linked by a common theme that is frequently repeated in the work of each, namely women. An exhibition organized by the National Museum in Kraków, together with the Xawery Dunikowski Museum of Sculpture in Warsaw, the Królikarnia and the Musee Rodin in Paris, is the first time the works of two great sculptors have met, and is also the first time the work of the brilliant Frenchman has been exhibited in Poland. A selection of nearly 80 works, sculptures as well as drawings and paintings, can be seen in Szołayski House at 9 Szczepański Square, a branch of the National Museum in Kraków.
The exhibition includes the best known work by the two distinguished artists, such as Auguste Rodin’s Creation of Woman, Danaida, and Eve or Motherhood, as well as the cycle Pregnant Women and the self-portrait I Go Towards the Sun by Xawery Dunikowski. The artists themselves can be seen through the eyes of the women who played a unique role in their lives. In case of Rodin this is Camille Claudel, the artistically talented sister of the poet Paul Claudel, who visited the sculptor’s studio as a very young student and quickly became his favourite model, intellectual partner and lover. Their turbulent relationship ended after a few years, and some time later Camille Claudel suffered a serious breakdown. She destroyed most of her work and died, abandoned by her family, in a psychiatric institution. A portrait of Auguste Rodin sculpted by Claudel is among the works displayed in the National Museum as part of the exhibition in Kraków.
Equally turbulent, though perhaps less dramatic, was the relationship between Xawery Dunikowskiego and Sara Lipska, a painter, sculptor and interior designer, who also created costumes and scenery for the theatre, for example, those worn by, amongst others, Helena Rubinstein as well as those used in the famous ballets of Sergei Diaghilev. Like Camille Claudel, Sara Lipska was a student and a favourite model as well as a lover. In 1908, she gave birth to her daughter, Maria Xawera, with whom she moved to Paris in 1912. One of the sculptures in probably the most famous work by Xawery Dunikowski, namely Pregnant Women, is believed to have the face of Sara Lipska. A very expressive portrait of Dunikowski by Sarah Lipska is also part of the exhibition.
Exhibition Rodin/Dunikowski: Visions of Women.
The Feliks Jasieński Szołayski House,
a branch of the National Museum in Kraków, pl. Szczepański 9.
8 October, 2016 – 15 January, 2017