Sculptures celebrating the human body will greet visitors to Lausanne's Olympic Museum this spring and summer, when it hosts an exhibition by the French-Polish sculptor, Igor Mitoraj.
Mitoraj takes his inspiration from classical ruins in ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. His winged torsos and armless athletes in bronze and marble suggest another, more ancient, Olympian ideal.
The work of the sculptor is familiar to visitors to the museum. A huge bust, entitled "The Breastplate", is now part of the scenery. It has been joined by other colossal Mitoraj works in the gardens in front of the museum, which overlook Lake Geneva.
Called "New Mythology", the exhibition consists of over 40 sculptures in various materials, two mosaics and 35 drawings, both inside and outside the building. A helicopter had to be used to position some of the larger works.
The sculptures convey both the strength and weakness of the human body. Many of these forms are incomplete, with arms or parts of the head missing. Often they are bandaged, almost like mummies.
Do they hark back, perhaps, to Mitoraj's childhood in post-war Poland? Whatever the answer, these sensitive, and at times disturbing works, conjure up the feeling that certain elements are missing from life.
Mitoraj, who is now based in Italy, works in both white and black marble. But he is also one of the few sculptors today who produce large-scale works in bronze.
The exhibition runs until October 7.
by Roy Probert