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Ode to Old Masters: Rodin Through The Lens Of Contemporary Artist Lina Condes

“The Thinker”, a new artwork by Lina Condes, is currently displayed at the San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild Summer Exhibition (June 8th – August 8th , 2021). 

What can we learn from looking at Rodin through the lens of contemporary artists, makers and activists? At this very moment we observe a newly inaugurated Tate Modern’s The EY Exhibition: The Making of Rodin in the British capital. An exhibition which synthesizes the artist & conceptual vision. 

While the Tate is questioning this, we already know the answer in San Francisco, where Lina is presenting her artwork for this summer show’s occasion. 

Hear Lina Condes speaking about Rodin, making and working as an artist today:

This is an interesting experience for me. Have you ever asked the question, what would a modern sculpture by Rodin be like if he lived and worked here and now? Would he work in the tradition of the Renaissance or Would he take this into the realm of contemporary art working among such names as Jeff Koons and James Turrell’  says Lina in an exclusive statement to Art Insider. 


Sculpture ‘The Thinker’ by Lina Condes/ architecture by Yodezeen


When we think about re-enactment in art history it is always quite intriguing to observe how an artist can be motivated by respect and admiration towards her forefathers, and how she can re-interpret the great masters of the past giving her viewers a chance to use their imagination while perceiving and inviting them to analyze present moments compared to those in the past. Considering limits or vantages an artist could have in her working surroundings and tools. We can only wonder what could have happened if Giorgio de Chirico had never seen Giotto’s frescoes of Assisi. 

This artwork is indeed connected to Lina’s reflection on her exploration and personal vision connected to history. Lina’s “Thinker” wants to incriminate a parallel with Rodin’s masterpiece to its contemporary interpretation. Pointing out the development of thought that is strictly related with its creation’s historical moment, Lina contemplates her creation by involving contemporary technologies using the same materials but different techniques.  


Lina Condes In Her Studio



Auguste Rodin’s Thinker was originally part of The Gates of Hell which was completed on commission in 1882. An artwork that was clearly inspired by The Gates of Paradise of Florentine’s Baptistery, by Lorenzo Ghiberti. 


‘The Thinker’ by Lina Condes

What later became known as The Thinker was also originally intended to represent the Florentine poet Dante Alighieri as he contemplated writing his Divine Comedy, where The Gates of Hell were based. When Rodin created this figure separately from the original work it lost its association with Dante and has become known as a symbol of philosophy and knowledge. The artist has designed his Thinker in a way that mirrors the heroes of Michelangelo. The nude figure is muscular, taunt, and valiant. This demonstrates to the viewer the high regard with which Rodin held Dante and creative thinkers in general. 

‘The Thinker’ by Lina Condes

You can visit Lina Condes Website at