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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