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The Exhibition ‘Pensive Mood’
A show of Slava Groshev
- Paintings and Tim Benson - Paintings with Auguste Rodin - Sculptures
Posthumous Cast (1999-2000)
Monday 4th January – Saturday 30th January 2010
23 Cork Street, Mayfair, London W1S 3NJ



‘Pensive Mood’
A show of Slava Groshev and Tim Benson
Monday 4th January – Saturday 30th January 2010
Thursday 14th January 2010 6pm-9pm - Private View

  • ‘Pensive Mood’ pairs the works of Russian artist Slava Groshev and English artist Tim Benson with an iconic private collection of Rodin bronzes
  • The Rodin posthumous bronzes are cast from foundry plasters
  • Exhibition - Monday 4th January – Saturday 30th January 2010
  • ‘Pensive Mood’ is to be held at the Hay Hill Gallery, 23 Cork Street, Mayfair, W1

Slava Groshev:

Crisp, vibrant and sharp, Slava' Groshev's figurative work could easily lull you into thinking that it is, or at the very least, uses digital photography in its creation. Don't be fooled… Slava's beautiful works follow in the footsteps of some of the great painting masters of our time, and are in fact created with the old fashioned paint brush. An unquestionable abundance of talent has lead to Slava's works held in private collections in Canada, America and throughout Europe and have become the investors choice.

Now he is 41. Nine years ago, living in Montreal, he began to make paintings. He always knew that he could do that, but there was neither time nor possibility. So he started to work hard: ten hours a day, six days a week. He was trained bases in drawing and painting, composition and etc, at first at artistic school, then, a couple of years with the lecturers of Moscow's Stroganov Art Institute. 

Tim Benson:

Tim Benson was born in London in 1978. After attending school in Highgate and Hendon where he showed considerable promise as a draughtsman he undertook an art foundation course at Middlesex University in 1996. In 1998 he earned a place on the fine art degree course at the prestigious Glasgow School of Art. In 1999 he decided to transfer his degree to London and embarked on his second year at The Byam Shaw School of Art in North London. After gaining his fine art honours in June 2001 Tim's potential was immediately spotted by a leading London gallery and his work was included in an exhibition of landscape paintings in September of that year. From there he did not look back and has subsequently shown with some of London's finest galleries.

During the 8 years since he left art school Tim has evolved as a painter, refining both his technique and the interpretation of his subject. In recent years his attention has fallen on the flatlands of East Anglia, in particular Norfolk and Suffolk. It is no coincidence that this is where both Constable and Seago made some of their most powerful works, as the combination of impossibly vast skies and abrupt verticals in a sometimes overwhelmingly horizontal landscape creates views that have a stark beauty found nowhere else. Tim, like those great artists before him, is not interested in the minutiae of a landscape, preferring instead to render the subject with loose, expressive brush strokes and a muted palette that reflects the earthy hues of the scenes he paints.

Art of England, Issue 64, 2009
Auguste Rodin - Sculptures

Among the collection of posthumous casts are such iconic works as The Thinker, The Kiss, Eve, Age of Bronze, Balzac, The Walking Man, along with many other well-known sculptures.

The noted Rodin Scholar Albert Elsen considered the posthumous recasting of the sculptor's work as part of the natural evolution in the sculptures' life. The exhibition on display shows that it is once again possible to capture the essence of the artist's life accomplishments in casts of the highest quality, cast from foundry plasters.

A collection of foundry plasters was assembled over several years with the intention of reproducing a limited edition of eight bronzes of the highest quality. In fact, using the finest craftsman and techniques developed by Rodin's fondeurs, bronze casts were created with the utmost attention to the details, size, and patinas which exist in casts supervised by the artist during his lifetime. With this purpose in mind, lifetime casts were examined, and the only foundry plasters selected were those which maintained the details and quality of Rodin's best works. All pieces on display are cast using a lost wax process and are hand chiseled using authentic patinas.

Plaster was the form in which Rodin recorded his genius. First modeling in clay, which disintegrates over time, Rodin recorded a composition's important stages and finished form by making a negative mold (un moule bon creu) from the clay. He then used this mold to cast a permanent form in plaster. A plaster was always the starting point for further innovations in the composition or replication in bronze or stone.

Auguste Rodin is generally recognized as the most important sculptor of the 19th century. Born to a family of modest means in 1840 and slow to gain recognition, Rodin nonetheless won five of France's largest commissions for monuments during the 1880s and 1890s. During these decades he produced grand public works and a vast oeuvre of drawings and small sculptures. By 1890 Rodin had become the most renowned sculptor in France; by 1900 he had achieved international recognition. His innovations in form and subject matter established his reputation as the first master of modern sculpture. Rodin's fame and productivity have been matched by only one artist in the 20th century, Pablo Picasso.

Since his death in 1917 he has become a legend. The subject of numerous biographies, Rodin remains largely a riddle. Despite the fact that his life is accompanied by vast documentation, the motives of his personal life and career are often difficult to fathom. His personality encompassed the simultaneous expression of intensely private and grandly public personas. In her exhaustive and deeply probing biography of the artist, Ruth Butler summarized his personality as "lonely" (Ruth Butler, Rodin: The Shape of Genius (New Haven and London, 1993), p. 514). Conventional in his tastes, he held to the opinions and prejudices of a lower-middle-class upbringing; until the last phase of his life, he preferred to live in humble circumstances without such modern improvements as heat and electric light. Despite modest accommodations and a mind-numbing work schedule, Rodin was never intellectually insular. He accrued a wide knowledge of art and literature and an extraordinary range of human contact. Yet he had few friends. Rather, he had colleagues and defenders, including some of the most powerful cultural personalities and politicians of his day, and enemies in abundance. Although generally awkward in public, Rodin could be courtly and effusive in audiences, elegant and open in his written correspondence and interviews.

The key to Rodin's life was his relationships with women: his strong ties to his sister, who died when he was twenty-two; a lifelong union with Rose Beuret, whom he married only at the very end of their lives; and a heartbreaking affair with Camille Claudel, from which neither participant ever fully recovered. These ties formed the tragic core of a personality that also sought out relationships on many levels with a host of female artists, models, dancers, fortune hunters, grandes dames, and aristocratic soul mates. Throughout his maturity, Rodin was deeply committed to these erotic and intellectual liaisons, attachments that were a primary source of his creativity.

Although Rodin's materials and methods for making sculpture were not novel, even his earliest figures are original. To the academic practice of creating a balance between nature and an ideal, Rodin brought three innovations: an equal attention to every detail of the work; an insistence that the figure itself is the subject, not that the figure portrays a subject; and the dynamism supplied by complex asymmetrical axes. Such innovations would have remained intellectual and technical were it not for the genius of Rodin's hands. He had a superb, unmatched gift for modelling clay and plaster. Rodin was able to translate his immense passion for work and his abiding love of the human form into thousands of small and many grand works, the animate patterns of solitary genius.

"Nature" and "movement" were terms used by Rodin as touchstones for making sculpture. Following nature, which Rodin insisted was essential for a work of value, meant working from a model. The initial stages of creating a form involved drawings and clay sketches, which he manipulated until he had selected a pose and scale for a fully modeled work in clay. For both small and large figures, he worked from the live model to develop a series of profiles. Normally, Rodin employed professionals from Paris, however, for commissions with important historical themes, such as The Burghers of Calais, he sought out individuals with the same origins and from the same regions as the historic subjects. To imbue his figures with movement, or "life" (another of his terms), Rodin returned to his models in session after session, making additions, new profiles, and other changes. Only when the clay figure possessed the required movement, in terms of both implied motion and animate surface, did Rodin proceed to make an image in plaster or another medium.

Rodin's position is now guaranteed in the pantheon of greatest artists of Western tradition and you now have the opportunity to view over fifty iconic sculptures and acquire some of his greatest achievements at the Hay Hill Gallery.

For press enquiries, further information and images:

Hay Hill Gallery
23 Cork Street
Mayfair  W1S 3NJ

Tel: 020 7734 7010
Tel/Fax: 020 7734 7050
E-mail: info@hayhill.com

Notes to Editors:

Hay Hill Gallery founded in 1995 as a legal entity, has recently relocated to Cork Street. The Hay Hill Gallery was founded as a joint venture between the Russian company Art Service Centre Ltd with over nine years experience of the international art scene, and the British company Sirin Ltd. The Hay Hill Gallery continues to introduce modern artists whose work pays homage to academic traditions; and mount exhibitions focussing on sculpture and international art.









Photos by Jonathan A Milton from the Private View of 14 January 2010















                                           E-mail: info@hayhillgallery.com