A Moment’s Monument – Medardo Rosso and the International Origins of Modern Sculpture

A Moment’s Monument – Medardo Rosso and the International Origins of Modern Sculpture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2017).

Medardo Rosso (1858–1928) is one of the most original and influential figures in the history of modern art, and this book is the first historically substantiated critical account of his life and work. An innovative sculptor, photographer, and draftsman, Rosso was vital in paving the way for the transition from the academic forms of sculpture that persisted in the nineteenth century to the development of new and experimental forms in the twentieth. His antimonumental, antiheroic work reflected alienation in the modern experience yet showed deep feeling for interactions between self and other. Rosso’s art was transnational: he refused allegiance to a single culture or artistic heritage and declared himself both a citizen of the world and a maker of art without national limits. In this book, Sharon Hecker develops a narrative that is an alternative to the dominant Franco-centered perspective on the origin of modern sculpture in which Rodin plays the role of lone heroic innovator. Offering an original way to comprehend Rosso, A Moment’s Monument negotiates the competing cultural imperatives of nationalism and internationalism that shaped the European art world at the fin de siècle.

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Martina Droth reviews “Medardo Rosso: Experiments in Light and Form” in The Burlington Magazine

Medardo Rosso: Experiments in Light and Form at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, Saint Louis (to 13th May),1 is the second major showing of Medardo Rosso’s work to be held in the city. In 2003, Medardo Rosso: Second Impressions travelled from Harvard Art Museums to the Saint Louis Art
Museum and the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas. That exhibition was informed by detailed technical research and made a virtue of Rosso’s notoriously repetitious oeuvre.2 Much of what we have come to know and understand about Rosso was established by that show: after 1906 he made no new sculptures, but instead reworked existing ones; he cast, rather than modelled, his waxes; and the evidence of production, such as casting seams,
visible on so many of his sculptures, were left there intentionally. Other Rosso exhibitions have been held in the United States since then, notably one at the Center for Italian Modern Art, New York, in 2014–15, which sought to place the artist into an American historiography. The present exhibition – conceived by Sharon Hecker and Tamara H. Schenkenberg – builds on these earlier projects, but seeks to reach a deeper understanding of why and to what effect Rosso made his sculptures the way he did.

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“Sculpture in Motion”, AAH Annual Conference, 2017


AAH2017 Annual Conference and Art Bookfair

6 – 8 April 2017
Loughborough University


AAH2017 will celebrate the expansive spectrum of histories, theories and practices that characterize art historical research today. Internationally, the field of art history is eclectic and inclusive, reaching across geopolitical, cultural and disciplinary divides to extend our understanding of the visual and material culture of many diverse periods and places. At Loughborough, we are engaged with art history, contemporary practice and visual culture, linking arts-based research with advances in design, technology, media and communication, centred on the development of more sustainable and equitable global

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Sonia Coman reviews “Foreign Artists and Communities in Paris” in NCAW

“Outstanding in Hecker’s essay is her methodology. She presents Rosso’s struggle as it was revealed in his candid correspondence with his friend and sponsor, the Italian critic Felice Cameroni. This relationship allows Hecker to substantiate her argument and also sheds lights on how a powerful actor in the artist’s homeland can greatly affect his professional advancement in Paris. The Italian translator of Emile Zola, with whom he had a decades-long correspondence, Cameroni wrote letters of introduction for Rosso, who hoped to gain the confidence and support of both Zola and Auguste Rodin. As a cosmopolitan, Rosso had no fixed identity and felt at ease circulating among several communities. In this regard, Hecker’s discussion of Rosso is similar to the essay of Zoe Marie Jones, the last in the book, on Severini’s identity as a dandy. Perhaps at odds with the cosmopolitan attitude, Rosso dealt with a medium-conditioned field—the realm of sculpture—dominated by the overwhelming artistic and personal presence of Rodin.”

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Discover Medardo Rosso through Sharon Hecker’s Essays and Books

“Born on a train: the impact of Medardo Rosso’s internationalism on his legacy” in Sculpture Journal, Volume 27, Issue 1, 2018, pp. 105–116.

A Moment’s Monument – Medardo Rosso and the International Origins of Modern Sculpture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2017).

“The afterlife of sculptures: posthumous casts and the case of Medardo Rosso (1858–1928)” Journal of Art Historiography (June 2017).

“Back-to-Back: Medardo Rosso, Giovanni Segantini, and the Outsider in Italian Modern Art” in Orizzonte Nord Sud. Protagonisti dell’arte europea ai due versanti delle Alpi – Leading Figures of European Art North and South of the Alps. 1840-1960 Museo d’arte della Svizzera italiana, Lugano. LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura (Genève: Skira, 2015): 170-185.

“Everywhere and Nowhere: Medardo Rosso and the Cultural Cosmopolitan in Fin-de siècle Paris” in S. Waller and K. Carter, eds. Strangers in Paradise: Foreign Artists and Communities in Modern Paris, 1870-1914 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2014).

“Diana Al-Hadid: Regarding Medardo Rosso”, catalog published on the occasion of the exhibition Diana Al-Hadid: Regarding Medardo Rosso at Marianne Boesky Gallery, February 8 – March 19, 2014.

“An Enfant Malade by Medardo Rosso from the Collection of Louis Vauxcelles”The Burlington Magazine vol. 152:1292 (December 2010): 727-735.

“Shattering the Mould: Medardo Rosso and the Poetics of Plaster” in R. Frederiksen and E. Marchand, eds., Plaster Casts: Making, Collecting and Displaying from Classical Antiquity to the Present (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2010): 319-330.

“Rosso: the Transient Form” exhibition review in The Burlington Magazine, vol. 151: 1280 (November 2009): 787.

“Icarus Fell Here”: Medardo Rosso (New York: Peter Freeman, 2009).

“Fleeting Revelations, The Demise of Duration in Medardo Rosso’s Wax Sculpture” in Ephemeral Bodies: Wax Sculpture and the Human Figure, R. Panzanelli, ed., Getty Research Institute Issues and Debates Book Series (Los Angeles: J.P. Getty Trust, 2008): 131-153.

Medardo Rosso: Second Impressions (co-authored with Harry Cooper), Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, MA (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2003).

“Medardo Rosso” in Winds of Change: the Milanese Avant-Garde 1860-1900, ed. F. Licht (Naples, FL: The Gilgore Collection, 2003): 84-103

“Medardo Rosso: Ecce puer, 1906” in Leggere l’arte, S. Fugazza, ed. (Piacenza, Galleria Ricci-Oddi, 2002): 79-88.

“Ambivalent Bodies: Medardo Rosso’s Brera Petition”, The Burlington Magazine vol. 142:1173 (December 2000): 773-777.

“L’esordio milanese di Medardo Rosso”, Bolletino dell’Accademia degli Euteleti (December 1998), vol. 65, pp. 185-201.

“Medardo Rosso: Ecce puer” in Da Hayez a Klimt. Maestri dell’Ottocento e Novecento della Galleria Ricci Oddi, Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Piacenza (Milan: Skira, 1997): 147-149.

“Medardo Rosso’s first commission”The Burlington Magazine vol. 138:1125 (December 1996): 817-822.