The truly legendary figures are those whose brilliance remains undimmed by the passage of time. In 1927, René Lalique, delving into mythological sources to decorate a vase with dancing bacchantes, depicted ten of them in glass. Ninety years on, the American artist Terry Rodgers has breathed new life into LALIQUE’s legendary bacchantes, young priestesses of the cult of Bacchus, the god of wine and pleasure. In our glassworks at Wingen-sur-Moder, in the heart of the Vosges in Alsace, France, these figures have metamorphosed into Sirènes. Terry Rodgers — renowned as a painter of realistic scenes in very large formats, a true master of color and brushstrokes, a photographer for whom light is an irresistible attraction — could not resist the appeal of crystal. It took two years, with the help of LALIQUE’s know-how, to come up with the perfect mold and capture — using ‘lost wax’ — the nine languid female forms on Rodgers’ vase. (Silvio Denz, Lalique)
You have to get close up to Terry Rodgers’ canvases to get behind the mask of erotic illusions: in the context of the Western world, which would have us believe in the miracle of youth, in the triumph of beauty and money, the artist strips reality bare and concentrates our gaze on a seemingly intimate gathering where no one appears to relate. After two years of intensive exchanges with LALIQUE, Terry Rodgers’ ‘Sirens’ emerges from the furnace. It is a contemporary reinterpretation of the legendary Bacchantes vase, created by René Lalique in 1927.
The American realist wanted these nine silhouettes sculpted in bas-relief to appear as brazen and unabashed as their ancestors, the bacchantes, the young priestesses of Bacchus, dancing around the vase in one of René Lalique’s emblematic creations: “Ninety years ago, when the master glassmaker created a mold of the bacchantes in his factory at Wingen-sur-Moder, he intended the figures as an ode to femininity. My sirens deconstruct the myth, forming a new image of the female figure. I wanted each face and hairstyle to be different; no pose should be alike. Because what interests me is the woman as individual.” In Terry Rodgers’ imagination, the bacchantes become sirens. In Greek mythology, these fantastic creatures of the sea, embody enchantment and delusion: the song of the sirens lured mariners onto the rocks.
Foto: © Estelle Rodgers, Brad-Van-Tilburgh