Rodin at UMMA
would heighten the dignity of each piece and allow visitors to refresh their mental palates between works, by framing each one in empty space. And behind ropes no sooner had I read a warning not to touch the works, since skin chemicals cause irreversible damage, than I saw some idiot touch one.
Expensive piles of Rodin merchandise in the gift shop which juts into the airy apse where some of the larger works would be better displayed include T-shirts, mini-Thinkers, magnets, and a puzzle packaged in a bottle. The items and the sculptures' crowded presentation give an uneasy impression of Rodin-as-commodity that threatens to subsume the pleasure of pondering the sculptures.
The small work Iris Waking Nymph (right) shows the fairylike Iris alighting on the thighs of a sleepy nymph. The glossy black work offers visual rhymes the nymph's bent arm mirrors the forty-five-degree angle of Iris's leg, and Iris's straightened arms echo the nymph's lower legs in poetic parallelism.