Tag Archives: 20th century

Closing Soon: ‘The Land: Joaquín Sorolla’s Spain’, Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon, until 31 March 2019

This exhibition, curated by Carmen Pena and realised in partnership with the Sorolla Museum, Madrid, brings together 118 paintings by Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (Valencia, 1863–Cercedilla, 1923) from the museum and from Spanish private collections.


The exhibition explores how Sorolla, the master of the “open air” and the “intense light”, represented the Spanish landscapes at the turn of the 20th century, bestowing it with new meanings and participating in a cultural movement that sought to create a new image for the country. The display also includes works representing scenes on the seashore and the work of fishermen on the coasts of Valencia, two of Sorolla’s signature themes.

Click here for more information, and stay tuned for the National Gallery’s own exhibition on Sorolla, which opens in four days.

Advertisements

CFP: Arts and Models of Democracy in post-authoritarian Iberian Peninsula, University of Huddersfield, 28–29 November 2019

Mural for the commemoration of the Carnation Revolution made by Caos, Add FuelDraw and MAR at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa in 2014

The process of democratisation in Portugal and Spain originated from a similar socio-political context. Besides having an almost identical geographical context, two long authoritarian and military dictatorships shaped the two counties on the basis of a nationalist and deeply catholic identity. From the point of view of popular culture, both dictatorships promoted a disengaged culture, based on songs, football matches, bullfights and the stereotypes of Iberian folklore. In the early 1970s, the illiteracy rate and cultural practices indexes in both countries were still among the highest in Europe. Despite these similar starting conditions, the Portuguese transition to democracy was very different from that of Spain; whereas Portugal created a rupture with the previous institutional context through a military coup, in Spain the post-Franco democratisation was founded on negotiated reform. These two processes of transition to democracy in Portugal and Spain, although dissimilar from each other, led to new ways of both high and popular cultural expressions. As a result, the decade following the two dictatorships was characterised by significant and euphoric experiments in the fields of literature, visual and plastic arts, cinema and music. Scholars have paid scant attention to the ways in which artists thought and put into practice the very notion of democracy in these years. Democracy is a highly contested category, one that has been imagined in many different ways, and any particular realisation of which carries costs as well as benefits. According to the historian of democracy Pierre Rosanvallon (2008), the rise of a democracy entails both a promise and a problem for a society.

This two-day conference aims to innovatively question how artistic practices and institutions formed ways of imagining democracy and by what means arts and culture participate in the wider social struggle to define freedom and equality for the post-Estado Novo and post-Francoist period: how did artistic practices instantiate ideas of democracy in this context? Inversely, how did such democratic values inform artistic practice? How did Portuguese and Spanish artists and intellectuals negotiate between creative autonomy and social responsibility? And more broadly, what is the role of culture in a democracy? The core purpose of the conference is to bring scholars together from different subject areas and exploring any artistic practice (literature, visual and plastic arts, cinema and music). PhD students, early careers and senior researchers are invited to submit an abstract to engage in an interdisciplinary and comparative debate on how the field of culture framed different ideas of democracy in the Iberian post-authoritarian transitions during the 1970s and early 1980s.

Papers will be 30-minutes in length with 15 minutes of discussion time, to enable the fullest exchange. Please submit proposals (300 words) and a short bio to I.ContrerasZubillaga(at)hud.ac.uk and g.quaggio(at)sheffield.ac.uk by the deadline Friday 31 May 2019. The programme will be announced in early July.

Click here for more information.

Featured Exhibition: Frida Kahlo and Arte Popular, MFA Boston, until 16 June 2019

Exhibition of more than 70 works that focuses on the relationship between Kahlo’s paintings and the traditional Mexican ‘folk art’ by unknown artists that she collected and championed as part of her celebration of Mexican nationalist culture. On loan to the exhibition are some 40 pieces of folk art from the San Antonio Museum of Art, which are similar to the ceramics, textiles, toys and figurines which Kahlo collected. These are displayed alongside eight paintings by Kahlo on loan to Boston, including her Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (1940), and her early Dos Mujeres (Salvadora y Herminia), recently acquired by the  MFA. A section of the exhibition will explore how the small painted ex-voto ‘retablos’, of which Kahlo collected some 400 examples, inspired her own work such as The Suicide of Dorothy Hale, which she painted in 1938. The exhibition is supported by the Darwin Cordoba Fund for Latin American Art.

Click here to find out more.

Featured Exhibitions: Lucio Fontana. On the Threshold, Met Breuer/Lucio Fontana: Spatial Environment (1968), El Museo del Barrio, New York, until 14 April 2019

restricted

Spatial Concept, The Bread (Concetto Spaziale, Il Pane) Lucio Fontana (Italian, 1899–1968) | Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milan

The first major survey of Lucio Fontana (1899–1968) in the United States in more than forty years, this exhibition will reexamine the career of one of the most innovative artists of the twentieth century. The Argentine-Italian artist is widely known for his Cuts series, slashed paintings that became symbols of the postwar era. The exhibition will present extraordinary examples of this iconic body of work. It will also explore Fontana’s beginnings as a sculptor, including his exquisite work in ceramic, as well as his pioneering environments, contextualizing the radical gesture of his Cuts as part of the artist’s broader search to integrate the space of art and the space of the viewer.

Click here for more information.

Another striking work by Fontana will is on show at El Museo del Barrio during the run of the Met exhibition. Presented at Documenta 4 in Kassel, Germany, in 1968, Spatial Environment [Ambiente Spaziale] is an immersive, all-white, labyrinthine work of art conceived in relation to the artist’s innovative Spatialism movement.

Click here for more information.

fontana_opening_lorenzo_palmieri_063

Images: Lucio Fontana, Ambiente spaziale in Documenta 4, a Kassel, 1968/2017, installation view at Pirelli, HangarBicocca, Milan, 2017. Courtesy Pirelli, HangarBicocca, Milan. ©Fondazione Lucio Fontana | Photo: Lorenzo Palmieri

Opens Today: Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving, Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, until 12 May 2019

frida_kahlo_appearances_can_be_deceiving_2010.80_nickolas_muray_frida_in_new_york_large_jpeg_2004w_600_814

Nickolas Muray (American, born Hungary, 1892–1965). Frida in New York, 1946; printed 2006. Carbon pigment print, image: 14 x 11 in. (35.6 x 27.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Emily Winthrop Miles Fund, 2010.80. © Nickolas Muray Photo Archives. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s unique and immediately recognizable style was an integral part of her identity. Kahlo came to define herself through her ethnicity, disability, and politics, all of which were at the heart of her work. Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving is the largest U.S. exhibition in ten years devoted to the iconic painter and the first in the United States to display a collection of her clothing and other personal possessions, which were rediscovered and inventoried in 2004 after being locked away since Kahlo’s death, in 1954. They are displayed alongside important paintings, drawings, and photographs from the celebrated Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art, as well as related historical film and ephemera. To highlight the collecting interests of Kahlo and her husband, muralist Diego Rivera, works from the museum’s extensive holdings of Mesoamerican art are also included.

 

Kahlo’s personal artifacts—which range from noteworthy examples of Kahlo’s Tehuana clothing, contemporary and pre-Colonial jewelry, and some of the many hand-painted corsets and prosthetics used by the artist during her lifetime—had been stored in the Casa Azul (Blue House), the longtime Mexico City home of Kahlo and Rivera, who had stipulated that their possessions not be disclosed until 15 years after Rivera’s death. The objects shed new light on how Kahlo crafted her appearance and shaped her personal and public identity to reflect her cultural heritage and political beliefs, while also addressing and incorporating her physical disabilities.

Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving is based on an exhibition at the V&A London curated by Claire Wilcox and Circe Henestrosa, with Gannit Ankori as curatorial advisor. Their continued participation has been essential to presenting the Brooklyn exhibition, which is organized by Catherine Morris, Sackler Senior Curator for the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, and Lisa Small, Senior Curator, European Art, Brooklyn Museum, in collaboration with the Banco de México Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, and The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art and The Vergel Foundation.

Click here for more information

Opens Today: The Young Picasso, Blue and Rose Periods, Fondation Beyeler, Basel, until 26 May 2019

csm_PARIS_Famille-saltimbanque-avec-singe_LAC_425x300mm_6f027eca53

PABLO PICASSO, FAMILLE DE SALTIMBANQUES AVEC UN SINGE, 1905
Gouache, watercolour and ink on cardboard, 104 x 75 cm
Göteborg Konstmuseum, Purchase 1922
© Succession Picasso / 2018, ProLitteris, Zurich
Photo: © Göteborg Konstmuseum

In 2019, as an exceptional cultural highlight, the Fondation Beyeler is mounting a unique exhibition devoted to Pablo Picasso’s masterpieces of his early Blue and Rose periods. This will be the most comprehensive presentation ever seen in Europe of Picasso’s paintings and sculptures from 1901 to 1906, each one of which is a milestone on the road to recognition as the twentieth century’s paramount artist. Picasso’s pictures from this period are counted among the most beautiful examples of modern art and are certainly some of the most valuable art works anywhere in the world.

At the age of just twenty, the aspiring genius Picasso (1881 – 1973) was already engaged in a restless search for new themes and forms of expression, which he immediately brought to perfection. One artistic revolution followed another, in a rapid succession of changing styles and visual worlds. The forthcoming exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler places the focus on the Blue and Rose periods, and thus on a central phase in Picasso’s work. It also sheds fresh light on the emergence, from 1907 onward, of Cubism, as an epochal new movement that was nevertheless rooted in the art of the preceding period.

In these poignant and magical works, realized in Spain and France, Picasso – the artist of the century – creates images that have a universal evocative power. Matters of existential significance, such as life, love, sexuality, fate, and death, find their embodiment in the delicate beauty of young women and men, but also in depictions of children and old people who carry within them happiness and joy, accompanied by sadness.

The exhibition features around 75 masterpieces on loan from major museums and private collections worldwide. In a multimedia space, fascinating and interactive books and a film allow visitors to immerse themselves in the young artist’s life and work.

Click here for more information.

Featured Exhibition: Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico, MFA Boston, until 12 May 2019

iturbide-publication-coverThe photographs of Graciela Iturbide not only bear witness to Mexican society but express an intense personal and poetic lyricism about her native country. One of the most influential photographers active in Latin America today, Iturbide captures everyday life and its cultures, rituals, and religions, while also raising questions about paradoxes and social injustice in Mexican society. Her photographs tell a visual story of Mexico since the late 1970s—a country in constant transition, defined by the coexistence of the historical and modern as a result of the culture’s rich amalgamation of cultures. For Iturbide, photography is a way of life and a way of seeing and understanding Mexico and its beauty, challenges, and contradictions.

This is the first major East Coast presentation of Iturbide’s work, featuring approximately 125 photographs that span her five-decade-long career. Organised into nine sections, the exhibition opens with early photographs, followed by three series focused on three of Mexico’s many indigenous cultures: Juchitán captures the essential role of women in Zapotec culture; Los que viven en la arena (Those Who Live in the Sand) concentrates on the Seri people living in the Sonoran Desert; and La Mixteca documents elaborate goat-slaughtering rituals in Oaxaca, serving as critical commentary on the exploitation of workers. Thematic groupings highlight Iturbide’s explorations of various aspects of Mexican culture, including fiestas, death and mortality, and birds and their symbolism. Her more recent work is presented in two series related to Mexico’s cultural and artistic heritage, featuring plants—mainly cacti—in “intensive care” at the Oaxaca Ethnobotanical Gardens, as well as El baño de Frida (Frida’s Bathroom), a selection of photographs in Gallery 335 depicting personal belongings in Frida Kahlo’s bathroom at the Casa Azul that had been locked away for 50 years after the artist’s death.

Iturbide’s powerful and provocative photographs are anti-picturesque, anti-folkloric. Her work embodies her empathetic approach to photography and her deep connection with her subjects, asking questions through its capacity for imaginary associations. Drawn primarily from Iturbide’s own collection, Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico also includes the Museum’s recent acquisition of 37 works by the artist, as well as loans from museums and private collections throughout the US and Mexico. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue produced by MFA Publications.

Click here for more information on the exhibition, and here for the accompanying publication