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Gallery Takes on Museum-Quality 20th Century Sculpture Exhibition

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New Yorkers have a rare chance to see some of the most iconic sculptures of the 20th century all in one place, for free at the Mnuchin Gallery. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.

I probably shouldn't even be showing you this, and don't try it yourself.

"The sculpture wants to be touched, actually. It really does," Robert Mnuchin of the Mnuchin Gallery tells me.

"If nothing else the natural juice or whatever it is that we have on our hands comes off a little bit and, in effect, polishes the sculpture."

Inside Mnuchin Gallery on the Upper East Side, I did get to touch Rodin's The Thinker with gallery owner Robert Mnuchin.

"Rodin is placed here because of not only its quality but its chronological position. If there is a such thing as the beginning of 20th century bronze sculpture, it would be Rodin," Mnuchin says.

After seeing a sweeping show on the entire history of sculpture in London, Mnuchin decided he wanted to do something similar at his gallery, but on a smaller scale.

His exhibition, "Casting Modernity: Bronze in the 20th Century" showcases works by the modern masters, including Noguchi, Picasso, Calder, Brancusi, and Matisse.

"If you start and go from left to right chronologically, you are going through years of his work. So we move from realism to cubism. It’s an exciting experience in mini art history," says Mnuchin.

Bronze casting is one of the oldest and most enduring forms of artistic creation, and Robert is overjoyed to share his personal Bronze Age with visitors, including this famous spider by Louise Bourgious.

"It's part animal, part mineral, part human. Who knows what it is? But yes, it has its own fascination," he says.

So even though you shouldn't touch it, the artwork should touch you. The exhibit is up through June 7.

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