Exhibition on the American West at Museo de arte Thyssen-Bornemisza

From 3 November 2015 until 7 February 2016, the Museo del arte Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, will present the exhibition “The Illusion of the American Frontier”. For the first time in Spain, this exhibition will explore the 19th century artists who travelled the American West in order to portray its landscapes and the life of its indigenous peoples, the Indian tribes. These artists captured in images a wild and dangerous territory, whose nature was of an astounding grandeur. The exhibition will illustrate the artistic adventures of Karl Bodmer, George Catlin and William S. Curtis, who documented, the customs, traditions, rituals and physiognomies of the people; as well as the exploits of landscape painters such as Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran and Thomas Hill. A few of the canvases belong to the permanent collection of the Museum and they reflect Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza’s love of stories of the West in literature, films and art. The exhibition’s curator, artist Miguel Ángel Blanco, who has been interested in American culture for years, will present a group of Book-boxes from his Library of the Forest, made with materials from his travels across the American...

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Ingres’ portraits at the Museo del Prado in Madrid

From 24 November 2015 to 27 March 2016, the Museo del Prado in Madrid presents an exhibition, organised in collaboration with the Louvre Museum, around the work of great master of the Neoclassical line, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. The exhibition presents itself in the form of a precise chronologicy of the work of Ingres, but more specifically touches on his complex relationship with the art of portraiture, (the sacred art which has secured his place as one of the great painters of history), torn between ambition and repulsion. The works of Ingres were only, at least superficially, anchored in academism, even if he is established as an absolute master of neo-classicism and that the aesthetic of Greek art inspired him, his art and his very individual aesthetic represent a key movement towards the artistic revolutions of the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. He inspired the rejuvenation of the European schools of the 19th century, particularly in Spain, but also foreshadowed the genius of Picasso by employing anatomical distortion, like in his Grande Odalisque (1814, Louvre Museum) which lengthened the back. The numerous portraits that he realised remain a mirror of the bourgeois society of his time, as Ingres knew particularly well how to render the texture of clothes and fabrics, indicators of a social level. The last exhibition dedicated to Ingres was held in 2008 at the Musée de la Vie romantique in...

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“Vogue: Like a Painting” at Madrid’s Museo Thyssen

The exhibition Vogue: Like A Painting, will be on show until 12 October 2015 at Madrid’s Museo Thyssen. The exhibit focuses on the style in which photographers for the magazine has re-staged scenes from famous paintings to market a dress or shoe for their readers. The use of paintings to exhibit the finery of the upper classes during the Renaissance period has been emulated in the form of photography, focusing on the silhouettes and the facets of jewels. Many of the photographs on show are in the vein of Vermeer, Magritte, and Rossetti. Curator Debra Smith has said of the exhibition that in every portrait, there is: “ […] a timelessness in the model’s pose; a kind of slowing down, where everything is really, really still.” The timeless photographs shot by Irving Penn and Erwin Blumenfeld for Vogue recreate Old Masters, using celebrities as their models for a modern take on the classic piece. Famously, Cate Blanchett was photographed as Elizabeth I by Irving Penn, who said: “It has been helpful, in orientation, to think of myself, a contemporary fashion photographer, as stemming directly from painters of fashion through the centuries. The exhibition has come during a turning point in the progression of fashion...

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Picasso found in Corsica transferred to Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid

The painting Head of a Young Woman (1906) that was discovered on a yacht in Corsica was transferred to the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, Spain, on 11 August 2015. Its value is estimated at over €26 million. Head of a Young Woman will be stored on the Madrid museum’s premises until its final destination is established. The painting belongs to Spanish banker Jaime Botín. Since 2012 he has attempted to obtain an exportation license in order to sell the painting abroad. Since the work is considered a unique example of Spanish art, the Ministry of Culture as well as the Spanish Court of Justice have refused Jaime Botín permission to sell the work overseas. The banker is suspected of having transferred the painting to Switzerland, ignoring the decisions of the two institutions. The Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid is also known for housing the painting Guernica by...

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Joseph Koudelka’s retrospective at Mapfre Foundation

From 10 September until 20 November 2015, the Mapfre Foundation in Madrid, Spain, is to host the most comprehensive retrospective of Josef Koudelka’s career to date, entitled “Nationalité incertaine”. Franco-Czech photographer Josef Koudelka worked for the Magnum Photo agency for over forty years. He has notably photographed gypsies from Eastern Europe, the invasion of Prague in 1968, as well as his own exile into the United Kingdom. Somewhere between photojournalism and art photography, his work has been awarded the National Grand Prix of photography (1989), the Grand Prix Henri Cartier-Bresson (1991), and the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography (1992). The retrospective, which includes more than 150 works, is organised by the Art Institute of Chicago and the J. Paul Getty Museum in association with the Mapfre Foundation. Born in 1938, Joseph Koudelka began his engineering career in the post-Stalin period, while achieving landscape photographs that enabled him to travel to Slovakia, Poland and Italy. In 1970, following the invasion of Prague by troops of the Warsaw Pact in 1968, he sought asylum in the United Kingdom, where his photographs of the Soviet intervention earned him the Robert Capa Gold Medal. Koudelka has been the subject of solo exhibitions at MoMA (1975), Kunsthaus Zürich (1977), and at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography...

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