Sacred art in the age of contact: Chumash and Latin American traditions in Santa Barbara, Art, Design & Architecture Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara, until 8 December, 2017.
Sacred Art in the Age of Contact focuses on the relationship between art and religion in both historic Chumash and Spanish traditions in the early Mission period in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, highlighting themes of devotion, sacred space, language and materiality. The exhibition investigates the mutually transformative interaction among these traditions. Twentieth-century and contemporary Chumash visual production will be on view alongside sacred objects. This exhibition brings together, for the first time, a diverse array of approximately 100 objects, from local collections that include the Mission Santa Inés, Mission La Purísima Concepcíon, the Santa Barbara Mission Museum and Archive-Library, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, and the Repository for Archaeological and Ethnographic Collections at UC Santa Barbara.
Kinesthesia: Latin American Kinetic Art, 1954–1969, Palm Springs Art Museum, 26 August 2017 – 15 January, 2018.
This exhibition is the first in-depth examination of the pioneering role played by South American artists in the international Kinetic Art movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Grounded by scholarly research into experimental art movements of the late 1940s and early 1950s in Buenos Aires, Caracas, and Rio de Janeiro. Kinesthesia begins its survey with the layered “vibrational” works created by Jesús Rafael Soto for the historic Le Mouvement exhibition at Galerie Denise René in Paris (1955) and goes on to explore more than fifty examples by nine artists, including the works of internationally well-known figures, such as Carlos Cruz-Diez, Gyula Kosice, and Julio Le Parc, alongside the less well known Martha Boto, Horacio García-Rossi, Alejandro Otero, Abraham Palatnik, and Gregorio Vardánega. The exhibition like that at Santa Barbara is part of the Getty Foundation supported Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, an exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles.
El Greco to Goya – Spanish Masterpieces from The Bowes Museum, 27 September 2017 – 7 January 2018, The Wallace Collection, London
In September 2017, the Wallace Collection presents El Greco to Goya – Spanish Masterpieces from The Bowes Museum: the first London exhibition of Spanish art from The Bowes Museum in County Durham, including works by Goya and El Greco.
This collaborative exhibition between the Wallace Collection and The Bowes Museum celebrates the partnership between these two great museums. Like the Wallace Collection, The Bowes Museum is the product of one family’s obsession with collecting great works of art. John Bowes and Richard Wallace – both illegitimate sons of aristocratic fathers – bequeathed collections of international significance to the nation.
The exhibition spans three centuries and explores one of the largest collections of Spanish art in Britain. The majority of these paintings were acquired by John and Joséphine Bowes between 1862 and 1863 from the collection of the Countess de Quinto in Paris, through the art dealer Benjamin Gogué. This collection was formed in Spain by the Conde de Quinto after the dissolution of the ecclesiastical institutions – known as Desamortización – carried out by the Government from 1835 to 1837.
On display are El Greco’s The Tears of Saint Peter, thought to be the artist’s earliest interpretation of this subject, Goya’s psychologically penetrating Portrait of Juan Antonio Meléndez Valdés and disturbing Interior of a Prison, plus perhaps less well known but outstanding works such as Antonio de Pereda’s Tobias Restoring his Father’s Sight. The works chosen explore a period of huge social, religious and political upheaval in Spain, providing a microcosm of the changes in style and subject matter during this period. The paintings complement works by Velázquez and Murillo on permanent display at the Wallace Collection.
The Wallace Collection’s Director, Dr Xavier Bray, says:
“El Greco to Goya is not only an unprecedented opportunity to see Spanish art of extraordinary power and significance in London, but also the beginning of an exciting relationship between the Wallace Collection and The Bowes Museum. Both institutions share a commitment to making great art accessible to wider audiences and we are looking forward to working closely together to develop a long term connection between London and the North East.”
The Bowes Museum’s Director, Adrian Jenkins, says:
“In 1892, when The Bowes Museum first opened its doors to the public, it had the largest public collection of Spanish paintings in the UK. As we mark 125 years since the creation of the museum, it is highly appropriate that the key works from this collection should be shared with London audiences, in keeping with John and Joséphine Bowes’ belief that great art should be made accessible to all. Neither John nor Joséphine Bowes survived to realise their vision, and they would be delighted to think that the best of their acquisitions would be shown at the Wallace Collection during this anniversary year, recognising that their gift to the people of County Durham is also a gift to the nation.”
The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication, El Greco to Goya: Spanish Masterpieces from The Bowes Museum, produced in collaboration with The Bowes Museum.
El desafío del blanco. Goya and Esteve, retratistas de la Casa de Osuna/portraitists to the House of Osuna, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. Closes 1 October 2017
This displays presents for the first time in the Prado the portrait of Manuela Isidra Téllez-Girón, the future Duchess of Abrantes, which was painted in 1797 by Agustín Esteve y Marqués, and which was recently acquired with the help of funds from the donation by Óscar Alzaga Villaamil. The child’s portrait is considered one of the finest works by the Valencian-born Esteve, the most important court portraitist after Goya. The exhibition brings together for the first time all the portraits painted by Agustín Esteve of the children of the Duke and Duchess of Osuna, on loan from private collections such as the Fundación Casa Ducal de Medinaceli, the Colección Duque del Infantado, Colección Masaveu and Colección Martínez Lanzas-de las Heras. In addition the display is accompanied by portraits of the 9th Duke Osuna, Pedro de Alcántara Téllez-Girón (1755-1807) and his wife and cousin, María Josefa de la Soledad Alonso-Pimentel (1752-1834), and their five children by other court artists including Goya’s family portrait of 1787-88 and a miniature by Guillermo Ducker (fl. 1795-1830) of Joaquina Téllez-Girón, Marchioness of Santa Cruz. The exhibition’s title refers to Esteve’s and Goya’s ability to meet the challenge of representing the transparent and pristine white materials worn by their sitters.
Ligereza y atrevimiento. Dibujos de Goya, Centro Botín, Santander. Closes 24 September 2017.
One of the first exhibition’s in the recently opened Renzo Piano designed Centro Botín, this show is curated by the Prado’s Head of Drawings and Prints, José Manuel Matilla, and the Chief Curator of the Goya and 18th-century Art Department, Manuela Mena. The exhibition includes 80 drawings, from the Prado’s holdings of some 520, selected as representative of the different periods of Goya’s artistic activity from 1796 to his death in 1828. Also shown are preparatory drawings for a selection of prints from his series, Sueños, Caprichos, Desastres de la guerra, Tauromaquia and Disparates. This exhibition is the result of an ambitious research and cataloguing project based on the drawings of Francisco de Goya, thanks to the collaboration agreement entered into by the Fundación Botín and Prado Museum in 2014. The first volume of the catalogue raisonné is due to appear later in 2017 and a larger exhibition is provisionally scheduled at the Prado in 2019.
Zurbarán: Jacob and his Twelve Sons, Paintings from Auckland Castle, Meadows Museum, Dallas, USA, September 17, 2017 – January 7, 2018
Francisco de Zurbarán was born in Fuente de Cantos, in Western Spain, but spent most of his working life in Seville. Like Ribera, Zurbarán is also considered a Caravaggista (a follower of the Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, active 1571-1610) particularly for his exceptional use of chiaroscuro.
These 13 paintings (12 by Zurbarán and one a direct copy of the work by Zurbarán) are a visual narrative of Jacob’s deathbed act of bestowing a blessing on each son, foretelling their destinies and those of their tribes. Although each painting holds its own as an exceptional portrait, seeing the works together provides a unique experience for viewers, transporting them across history to make them a witness to that moment. At the Meadows, the paintings will be displayed together in one gallery.
It is not known who originally commissioned the series, but they were auctioned from the collection of a Jewish merchant named Benjamin Mendez in 1756. Richard Trevor, Bishop of Durham, acquired the paintings for Auckland Castle, seeing in the public presentation of these works an opportunity to make a statement about the need for social, political and religious understanding and tolerance between Christians and Jews in Great Britain.
While in the USA, the paintings will also undergo in-depth technical study for the first time at the Kimbell Art Museum. This will include the use of infrared reflectography, ultra-violet light, x-radiography and pigment analysis. The goals of this work are twofold: first, to gain a better understanding of Zurbarán’s artistic process by exploring this unique series of related works; and second, to identify any additional needs for their ongoing conservation and care after they return to the U.K.
Accompanying the exhibition and conservation research will be an illustrated catalogue containing scholarly essays exploring the series from various historical, religious and artistic perspectives. Dr. Mark A. Roglán, Director, Meadows Museum, is the scientific director of the project and has helped to gather contributions by Claire Barry, Director of Conservation, Kimbell Art Museum; Professor John Barton, Oriel and Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture, Emeritus at Oxford University; Dr. Jonathan Brown, Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Fine Arts at New York University; Dr. Christopher Ferguson, Curatorial, Conservation and Exhibitions Director, Auckland Castle; Dr. Susan Grace Galassi, Senior Curator, The Frick Collection; Akemi Herráez Vossbrink, PhD Candidate at the University of Cambridge; Alexandra Letvin, PhD Candidate at Johns Hopkins University; and Dr. Edward Payne, Senior Curator, Spanish Art, Auckland Castle. This exhibition and study have been co- organized by the Meadows Museum, SMU; The Frick Collection; and Auckland Castle; in association with the Kimbell Art Museum. A generous gift from The Meadows Foundation has made this exhibition and study possible, with additional support from the Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica and the Center for Spain in America.