Tag Archives: 20th century

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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Featured Exhibition: Futuruins, Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, until 24 March 2019

palazzofortunyinterniBorn in Granada in 1871, Mariano Fortuny trained as a painter in Paris before settling in Venice at 18. Moving in international artistic circles, he befriended Gabriele D’Annunzio, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Marchesa Casati and Prinz Fritz Hohenlohe-Waldenburg, among others. He was fascinated by the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk, a total union of music, drama and visual presentation which he strove to realise in his set designs. In addition to his work for the theatre, he decorated aristocratic homes and museums. His luxury textiles were produced in a factory on the Guidecca in Venice and sold in shops in all European capitals. Towards the end of the 1930s Mariano Fortuny retired to a palace in the San Beneto district of Venice. Decorated by the artist, the palazzo now hosts the Fortuny Museum.

04-muve-san-pietroburgo-web-banner-quadrato-mobile-px-443-x-443Currently on show at the museum is Futuruins. The exhibition focuses on the the multiple meanings attributed to ruins through the centuries. Works from Venetian Civic Museums, the State Hermitage Museum and other international collections explore the architectural and sculptural remains of the Greco-Roman, Egyptian, Assyrian-Babylonian and Syrian civilisations. Contemporary art looks at the physical and moral ruins of today’s society. This is an exploration of the ruins of architecture, cities and suburbs, but also of men and ideas, as the result of time, negligence, degeneration, natural or political tragedies such as war and terrorism.

Ruins are an allegory for the inexorable passage of time, always uncertain and changeable, disputed between past and future, life and death, destruction and creation, Nature and Culture. The aesthetics of ruins is a crucial element in the history of Western civilisation. The ruin as concept symbolises the presence of the past but at the same time contains within itself the potential of the fragment. Fragments of antiquity, covered by the patina of time, hold cultural and symbolic implications that turn them into valid ‘foundation stones’ for building the future. Coming from the past, they confer a wealth of meaning on the present and offer an awareness to future projects.

Curated by Daniela Ferretti, Dimitri Ozerkov with Dario Dalla Lana, the exhibition includes works by such modern artists as Acconci Studio, Giorgio de Chirico,  Jean Dubuffet, Anselm Kiefer, Alberto Burri. Franco Guerzoni, Christian Fogarolli, Giuseppe Amato, Renato Leotta and Renata De Bonis have realised new commissions for the event. In addition, the State Hermitage Museum has lent more than 80 pre-modern works,  including paintings by Albrecht Dürer, Monsù Desiderio, Giovanni Paolo Pannini, Jacopo and Francesco Bassano, Parmigianino, Veronese, Jacob van Host the Elder, Arturo Nathan and Alessandro Algardi.

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Featured exhibition: Hermen Anglada-Camarasa. Una revisión pictórica de la colección, Caixaforum, Palma de Mallorca, until 30 August 2020

AngladaCamarasaRevisioPictorica_cartell_desktop-v3-esThroughout his career the Catalan painter Hermen Anglada-Camarasa (Barcelona 1871–1959 Pollença) worked mainly in the ‘modernista’ style. During WWI he travelled to Mallorca for the first time and eventually settled for the rest of his life in the north of the island, where in 1967, following the artist’s wishes his house in Pollença was turned into a museum. This exhibition in Palma de Mallorca displays a wide range of his paintings alongside his collection of costume, furniture and Japanese prints, in a setting evocative of his house. 

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Research Seminar: Inigo Thomas, ‘Who was Tomàs Harris?’, UCL, London, 24 January 2019

Harris, Tomas, 1908-1964; Two Olive Trees Grown Together

Tomàs Harris, Two Olive Trees Grown Together, UCL Art Museum © the artist’s estate. Photo credit: UCL Art Museum

This seminar will be dedicated to Tomàs Harris (1908–1964). Harris was a MI5 spy, but also a painter of Spanish landscapes and a scholar of Spanish art. His outstanding collection of prints by Goya is now at the British Museum.

The lecture will take place in Seminar Room 3, UCL History of Art, 20 Gordon Square, London, 6–8pm. Works made or collected by Harris will be on display at UCL Art Museum on the afternoon on the lecture, 2–5:30pm.

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