Our new exhibition examines the work of Medardo Rosso (1858–1928), an influential yet under-recognized artist who played a crucial role in the development of modern sculpture. Medardo Rosso: Experiments in Light and Form explores the artist’s radical efforts to “de-materialize” sculpture through manipulations of modeling and texture, yielding surfaces that were receptive to transient effects of light. Described as a “lighting virtuoso” by a journalist of his time, Rosso was one of the first artists to use light as a material in his sculpture and explored both the optical and emotional effects of light.
We invite you to experiment in our Light Room by altering the lighting conditions of one of Rosso’s masterpieces, Ecce puer (1906), which captures a fugitive glimpse of a young boy seen behind a curtain. Using a handheld device, visitors are encouraged to change the angles and intensity of light falling on the work within three specific lighting “scenes.” This interactive room connects to Rosso’s own experiments with natural and artificial illumination—an aspect of his work with which he was deeply engaged, particularly after the advent of electric lighting in the late nineteenth century.
Share photos of your own lighting scenes using #MedardoRosso.