Monthly Archives: July 2015

CFP: Zurbarán and his Reception in Art History (Düsseldorf, January 2016)

Francisco de Zurbarán, Portrait of Santa Casilda (Museo Thyssen, Madrid)

Francisco de Zurbarán, Portrait of Santa Casilda (Museo Thyssen, Madrid)

Call for Papers:
The Discovery of the Inconspicuous: Body, Materiality and Narrativity in the Work of Francisco de Zurbarán and his Reception in Art History
Annual conference of the Carl Justi Association for the Promotion of Art Historical Cooperation with Spain, Portugal and Ibero-America, in cooperation with Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf and the Department of Art History of the Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, 21–23 January 2016
Deadline for submissions: 30 September 2015

From 10 October 2015 to 31 January 2016 paintings by Francisco de Zurbarán will be shown for the first time in the German-speaking world in a monographic exhibition, organised by the Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf in cooperation with the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid. Zurbarán’s work is barely represented in German collections, and while internationally his work has been discussed from many different perspectives, there has only been a limited amount of art historical research on it in Germany.
In its annual conference the Carl Justi Association wants to bring together the broad range of approaches to Zurbarán in German scholarship and also encourage further research into his work. Possible fields of enquiry include:
Intermediality. Early Zurbarán reception already emphasised the sculptural qualities of his paintings but more recent research has shown that the interrelation of painting and sculpture in seventeenth-century Seville cannot be understood from the context of contemporary art historical discourses alone, and we should also consider techniques and workshop practices in these two genres. This perspective could be broadened by considering Zurbarán’s place in a history of piety and exploring the role that his canvases played in paraliturgy.
Another area of research would be the interplay of body, space and materiality for the perception and reception of the sacred and the divine secrets of faith in each genre.
Zurbarán’s paintings are remarkable in their way of evoking the surface texture and haptic qualities of the many different materials used, which often, for example in the garments, enter into a dynamic relationship with the bodies perceived as holy. The conference would like to offer the possibility of discussing different approaches to this phenomenon, for example from the perspective of visual culture studies, image studies, costume history and textile history but also  that of restoration.
Narrativity. Zurbarán’s tendency to focus on the essential and his ‘iconographic’ condensation of motifs have been stressed repeatedly. But his works also contain seemingly marginal details: still life elements in religious scenes, or the signs of Christ’s Passion on his body that are barely recognisable in the dark background. These elements may not reveal themselves at first sight, which is why the conference also wants to explore the role of the seemingly             inconspicuous for the perception and interpretation of Zurbarán’s paintings.
New contexts of perception and experience. Francisco de Zurbarán’s era was shaped by great upheavals in both church and state politics. We thus need to explore how art positioned itself in a society undergoing profound social and cultural change. Possible themes here include art     production, which had to address the market challenges in the New World, as well as pictorial subjects and their treatment, such as t ambivalence of the ‘nature morte’ in religious art.
Reception. Finally, the conference would like to encourage scholars to examine the rather belated recognition of Zurbarán in German art history within the broader context of the history of his critical  reception, and to ask which ideas, images and myths art historians in different countries have associated with his work.

We welcome proposals which address one or more of these themes or other fields of enquiry. The conference will be held in German, Spanish and English. Grants to assist speakers in their travel and accommodation costs may be available but this has not yet been confirmed.

Please submit your abstracts of no more than 300 words, together with a short curriculum vitae (no more than two pages), by 30 September to:
Dr Kristin Böse
Institut für Kunstgeschichte
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
Gebäude 23.32
Universitätsstraße 1
40225 Düsseldorf


Exhibitions: London – The Spanish Contemporary Art Network’s Summer Shows – 23 June -12 Sept 2015

SATURATION | New Spanish Painting

In an image-saturated age, digital media, internet, television, film, and video entertain, inform and surround us every waking hour. Hand-held technologies have made us not only incessant consumers but also constant maker/editors of images. The artistic value of the painted image has been in crisis for a century and particularly in recent decades, painting has been relegated to the periphery of contemporary art discourse. Amidst numerous and expanding media and visual technology, what is the role of painting now?

SATURATION looks at the persistence of painting in contemporary artistic production. Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of Kazimir Malevich’s Black Square, SATURATION explores the range, methods and means of painting production today through the work of seventeen Spanish painters in three simultaneous London exhibitions.

23 June – 31 July 2015 

Monday – Friday 10 – 6 pm     Saturday 10 – 5 pm

The Fitzrovia Gallery   139 Whitfield St   London W1T 5EN
+44 (0)20 7209 9107     



S/T ( Los Diablos)   Santiago Ydañez 2010


A Trace of Transition  Pepa Prieto 2014  


Figure/Ground explores readings of narrative and sub-narrative in works on canvas, paper, acrylic, and concrete. Drawing on techniques from film and photography, painters re-assemble appropriated imagery to overlay and alter associations, spatial and narrative hierarchies and meaning. Cut-and-paste, collage, scale distortions, photographic transfers and animation and video become tools for destabilising painting conventions and introducing fluidity and ambiguity to the medium.

What is foreground, what background? Is the viewer witness to the depicted event or a party to the act of witnessing itself? This reading of figuration elides such distinctions, offering both and neither. These borrowed images are neither stable nor steal- able. The fact of paint on a ground stands for itself alone.

16 July – 12 September 2015

Wednesday – Saturday 12 – 6pm and by appointment at any time

COPPERFIELD   6 Copperfield St   London SE1 0EP
07845 594549



 Mitad tú, mitad yo    (Pedro) Guillermo Mora  2015


Add Subtract Divide sees artists revisit the abstract painting tradition with new media, processes and experimentation. Some works take physical issue with the discipline by disassembling or reconfiguring canvas and stretcher, preferencing material qualities over any notion of the picture plane. The historical reading of flatness in the language of Modernist geometric painting is investigated using trompe l’oeil and collage, flickering between picture plane and referent. Other works experiment with scale and non-traditional materials to re-position otherwise familiar forms, investing them with political or gender narratives; Geometric abstraction is reworked in stitched lines and layers of applied felt, transforming the medium and linking it to other traditions of making.

17 July – 12 September 2015 

Wednesday – Saturday 12 -6pm and by appointment

The RYDER Projects   19a Herald St   London E2 6JT
07719 110821



Ferran Gisbert wields a handmade paintbrush corresponding to his own height


Performed Painting explores the act and re-enactment of painting whether directly on the gallery wall or abstracted into video or film. Physical and visual limits are probed and tools or technologies deployed to extend the artist’s reach, expand the extent of a brushstroke or amplify the colour spectrum visible to the human eye. The image can resemble a movement-map for the eye to wander over and revisit, trailing the artist’s hand. This is action painting – or an idea of action painting – we can no longer be certain.

CFP: The Art Market, Collectors and Agents: Then and Now (London, 2016)


Call for Papers:
The Art Market, Collectors and Agents: Then and Now
London, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House
13 June 2016
Deadline: 30 July 2015

Proposals should be c 350 words and sent with a short CV to Susan Bracken and Adriana Turpin with cc to

Our usual July conference date has been shifted to complement the conference being held by Christie’s to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the auction house on 14 and 15 July 2016.


New book: The Casa del Deán: New World Imagery in a Sixteenth-Century Mexican Mural Cycle

The Casa del Deán: New World Imagery in a Sixteenth-Century Mexican Mural Cycle, by Penny C. Morrill
(Austin: University of Texas Press, December 2014)
ISBN: 978-0-292-75930-5 (Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Series in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture)
“Extensively illustrated with new color photographs, this pioneering study of a masterpiece of colonial Latin American art reveals how a cathedral dean and native American painters drew on their respective visual traditions to promote Christian faith in the New World.”

Exhibition: Cristina Rodrigues, Knutsford, Cheshire

Cristina Rodrigues: ‘Guardian Angels’
Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire
21 May – 4 October 2015
closed Mondays

The latest exhibition by Portuguese-born and Manchester-based installation artist and former architect and ethnographer, on display at a Georgian National Trust country house venue. Rodrigues’ art lends an artistic identity to functional objects within the house, such as tables, chairs and chandeliers, by covering or enveloping domestic furniture in silks, ribbons, lace and other woven or knitted fabrics simulating traditional Portuguese female crafts.

Exhibition: Miró y el Mori el Merma, Valencia

Miró y el Mori el Merma
Centro del Carmen, Valencia
11 June – 13 September

In 1978 Miró collaborated with the theatre company Teatre de la Claca to design, decorate and produce the masks and giant puppet figures for their production of Mori el Merma a play based on Alfred Jarry’s tyrannical Ubu figure, whom the artist associated with Franco’s reign. The production opened in Mallorca and Barcelona and subsequently toured Europe including a showing at the Riverside Studios in London. The exhibition displays for the first time since 1980 the masks and puppets, recently restored by the Instituto Valenciano de Conservación y Restauración, alongside a series of drawings and three portfolios of lithographs that Miró produced during the design process.