Tag Archives: Sculpture

Featured Exhibition: 'Montañés, maestro de maestros', Museo de Bellas Artes, Seville, until 15 March 2020

Juan Martínez Montañés (Alcalá la Real, 1568–Seville, 1649) marked a milestone in Spanish Baroque sculpture and a timeless model in the Sevillian school. This exhibition provides an insight into a select repre­sentation of 44 sculptures and reliefs by the brilliant artist, of a total of 58 works on display. Divided into three sections, the itinerary presents an exceptional repertoire of works that bear witness to the ambition of the major commissions he undertook, the sublime quality of his devotional images and the novelty of his iconographic models. The first section features works from his most outstanding groups or altarpieces, such as those from San Isidoro del Campo and the convent of San Leandro. The second one offers key examples of his magnificent religious imagery, such as Saint Christopher and Saint Jerome, and the third one highlights his most significant contributions to Sevillian Baroque iconography, as exemplified by the Infant Jesus from the Cathedral Side­ Chapel, ‘La Cieguecita’ (Little Blind One), and the Christ of Clemency.

The connections with the artistic and intellectual world of the day reveal the collaboration between Montañés and other artists, also represented here by paintings that formed part of altarpieces or were the pictorial ex­pression of the new iconographies which the sculptor helped to establish. Many of the works on display have undergone con­servation and restoration works specifically for the exhibition, enabling us to appreciate the extraordinary quality and beauty of the grand masterís work in all its glory. Thanks to the generous collaboration of the Archbishopric of Seville, the exhibition also includes works which the general public rarely have the op­portunity to admire, either because they are located high up on altarpieces or hidden away in convents and monasteries.

Opens Today: Alonso Berruguete: First Sculptor of Renaissance Spain, NGA, Washington DC, until 17 February 2020

Alonso Berruguete: First Sculptor of Renaissance Spain will be the first major exhibition held outside Spain to celebrate the expressive art of the most important sculptor active on the Iberian Peninsula during the first half of the 16th century, Alonso Berruguete. The exhibition will present an impressive range of more than 40 works from across his career, including examples of his earliest paintings from his time in Italy, where he trained. His abilities as draftsman will also be celebrated with the largest group of his drawings ever to be assembled. The primary focus will be on his painted sculptures in wood, which generally decorated large altarpieces, or retablos. The Museo Nacional de Escultura in Valladolid, Spain, will be lending a substantial group of some of his very best figures. A section of one of his altarpieces will be loosely reconstructed in the exhibition to convey an idea of how his sculptures were originally seen.

The exhibition is curated by C. D. Dickerson III, curator and head of sculpture and decorative arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington.

A fully illustrated catalog accompanying the exhibition will be the first general book on Berruguete published in English and will feature essays by Dickerson as well as Manuel Arias Martínez, deputy director, Museo Nacional de Escultura, Valladolid, and Mark McDonald, curator of Italian, Spanish, Mexican, and early French prints and illustrated books, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas.

It will travel to the Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, from March 29 to July 26, 2020.

Click here for more information.

Featured Exhibition: ‘De Mena, Murillo, Zurbarán. Masters of the Spanish Baroque’, Sint-Janshospitaal, Bruges, until 6 October and MNHA, Luxembourg, 24 January–07 June 2020

20 works of Spanish religious sculpture and painting are currently on display in the monumental wards of the ancient hospital of Bruges. It is a rare opportunity to become acquainted with some lesser-known aspects of Spain’s Golden Age. The highlight of the exhibition, in addition to paintings by famous Spanish masters like Murillo and Zurbaran, is a group of six hyper-realistic sculptures by the greatest sculptor of the Spanish Baroque, Pedro de Mena.
This project is in collaboration with the Luxemburg Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art and the exhibition will travel to this museum in 2020.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue in English, with texts by Ruud Priem, Sibylla Goegebuer, Malgorzata Nowara, Gilles Zeimat, and Noël Geirnaert. Click here for more information on the exhibition and here for the catalogue.

Featured Exhibition: Thoughts on Portraiture, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 3 August–18 November 2019

A free one-room show which draws on Birmingham’s collection of modern and contemporary art to explore how artists have used a wide range of styles and imagery to interpret complex human emotion and experiences. The display is centred around the sculpted polychrome group Man and His Sheep (1989) by the Brazilian-born artist Ana Maria Pacheco, which has not been on show for over five years. The striking installation consists of eight lifelike carved wooden figures arranged in a procession. Each imposing figure is carved from a single piece of limewood then painted and waxed to give a startling lifelike appearance, enhanced by their onyx eyes and acrylic teeth, which add a somewhat sinister expression. Pacheco’s oil painting In Illo Tempore I (1994) is also on display. The display also includes two Picasso etchings from the Vollard Suite. Winged Bull Watched by Four Children (1934) shows a monstrous mythological beast, whilst Portrait of Vollard (1937) uses lighter and darker shades to depict different characteristics of Ambroise Vollard, the art dealer who commissioned the Suite of prints. For conservation reasons neither of these works on paper are likely to be on display again soon. Other artists whose portraits are featured in the exhibition include a self-portrait by the Birmingham-born David Bomberg and Frank Auerbach’s etching of his friend the art historian Michael Podro.
Click here for more information.

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.

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.

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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

Closing Soon: Cristina Iglesias: entrǝspacios/interspaces, Fundación Botín, Santander, closes 3 March 2019

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Corredor Suspendido I, 2006 925 x 795 cm Hierro dulce trenzado, cables de acero y sombra. Vista de instalación Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, 2013 Foto: Attilio Maranzano

A recipient of Spain’s National Visual Arts Award in 1999, Cristina Iglesias (San Sebastián, 1956) is an internationally renowned Spanish artist. This exhibition consists of a huge collection of pieces that will be on display on the second floor of the west wing of the Centro Botín. Well-known for her sculptural pieces with hanging pavilions, latticework, corridors and labyrinths, Iglesias combines industrial materials and natural elements to create unusual, experiential spaces.

Cristina Iglesias has developed a close relationship with the Fundación Botín and its recently opened arts centre in Santander. This relationship translated into a site-specific sculptural intervention at the Centro Botín and the Pereda Gardens, titled Desde lo subterráneo (From the Underground), which features four pools and a pond in stone, iron and water. Moreover, in September 2018, Iglesias led a Villa Iris Visual Arts Workshop, an annual project sponsored by the Botín Foundation since 1994. The latest grand exhibition by Cristina Iglesias in Spain was on at the Reina Sofía Museum and Arts Centre in 2013. Her upcoming exhibition at the Centro Botín will offer a great chance to enjoy both her older and more recent pieces.

Click here for more information.

CFP: The Saint Enshrined: European Tabernacle-altarpieces, c.1150-1400, Valladolid, June 7–8, 2019

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 Tabernacle-shrine from Mule,
Iceland, now in the Nationalmuseet
in Conpenhagen; c.1250.
Photo: Justin Kroesen

Almost every Medieval church had one or more sculptures of saints, many of which were placed on altars, in wall niches or in so-called tabernacle-altarpieces. This last category refers to three-dimensional, canopied structures, embellished with bright colours and equipped with movable wings that housed cult images of the Virgin and Child or saints. This early type of altarpiece became widespread in Europe between c.1150 and 1400. Nowadays, examples are scarce and often fragmented, overpainted and reconstructed. Most of them come from the geographical periphery of Europe and almost all of them are now without their original context, as they hang on museum walls or in churches as isolated relics.

The purpose of this international symposium is to explore and discuss early tabernacle-altarpieces in different regions of Europe: their provenance, patronage, function, and role in popular piety. We invite speakers to submit proposals for 15-minute papers to be presented during the symposium. Proposals should go beyond case studies and look at such topics as the use and re-use of tabernacle-altarpieces, media involved in their creation, regional differences, etc.

How to Submit: Proposals of c.300 words should be submitted to Fernando Gutiérrez Baños, fbanos@fyl.uva.es.

Deadline: Friday 18th of January 2019.

All proposals will be examined by the Scientific Committee. It is hoped that an edited volume of the symposium proceedings will be published. Successful candidates will be offered free registration.

SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE: Fernando Gutiérrez Baños, Universidad de Valladolid; Justin Kroesen, Universitetsmuseet i Bergen; Elisabeth Andersen, Norsk institutt for kulturminneforskning.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: These will include members of the Scientific Committee; Stephan Kemperdick, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie; Teresa Laguna Paúl, Universidad de Sevilla; Cristiana Pasqualetti, Università degli Studi dell’Aquila; and Alberto Velasco Gonzàlez, Museu de Lleida: diocesà i comarcal.

PROGRAM (PROVISIONAL): Friday 7th  of June, session held in the Universidad de Valladolid (Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Sala de Juntas); Saturday 8th  of June, field trip to sites in the Diocese of Vitoria.