Houdon and Clodion's ENLIGHTENMENT AND BEAUTY on View at Frick, Begin. 4/1
An exhibit featuring Houdon and Clodion's works will be on view at Frick from April 1, 2014, through April 5, 2015.
Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828) and Claude Michel, called Clodion (1738-1814), were two of the foremost sculptors in France during the late eighteenth century. The Frick Collection houses an important group of works by the artists, which was established in 1915 when founder Henry Clay Frick acquired Clodion's terracotta Zephyrus and Flora and, the following year, Houdon's marble bust of the Comtesse du Cayla. Beginning in April, these masterpieces-along with nearly all the examples by the two sculptors that were subsequently added to the Collection-will be shown together for the first time, highlighting the artists' expressive ranges, as well as their defining contributions to the sculpture of Enlightenment-era France.
Displayed in the brilliant natural light of the Frick's Portico Gallery, exquisitely carved, lifelike marble portraits by Houdon and virtuoso terracotta figures and reliefs by Clodion will epitomize each artist's best-known achievements. Important examples from private collections in the northeast will complement the Frick objects and introduce other aspects of the artists' oeuvres not represented at the museum. The ensemble will rotate in part throughout the year-long installation, allowing visitors to consider different juxtapositions of Houdon and Clodion's sculptures. It will also illustrate the beauty, naturalism, and classical motifs that connect the works of both artists, who were fellow students in Rome, while also drawing attention to the goals and sensibilities of each as the dominant French sculptors of their day. The installation is organized by Denise Allen, Curator; Katie Steiner, Curatorial Assistant; and Alyse Muller, Ayesha Bulchandani-Mathrani Curatorial Intern. Support for the presentation is generously provided by Margot and Jerry Bogert and Mrs. Henry Clay Frick II.