Coming Exhibitions

Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Paintings

“Gates of the Lord:

The Tradition of Krishna Paintings”

Who:  

Art Institute of Chicago

When: Sept. 13, 2015 – January 3, 2016 (Hours Vary)

Where: 

Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 

More Information: Here.

This fall, the Art Institute of Chicago offers a glimpse into one of the world’s most intimate religious traditions. Bringing together over 100 artworks from private and public collections in India and the United States, Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Paintings is the first major U.S. exhibition to explore the unique visual culture of the Pushtimarg, a Hindu denomination from Western India.

Founded in the 16th century by the saint and philosopher Shri Vallabhacharya (1479–1531), the Pushtimarg is a religious community dedicated to the devotion of Shrinathji, a divine image of the Hindu god Krishna as a seven-year-old child. The religious and artistic center of the sect is based in the temple town of Nathdwara (literally, “The Gates of the Lord”), near Udaipur in the state of Rajasthan, India. Scholars and artists have long been fascinated by the distinctive and highly aestheticized manner in which members of this group venerate Shrinathji, as well as by the legacy of miniature paintings created as a record of such worship. This exhibition showcases centuries ofpichvais (textile hangings) and miniature paintings that have been created by and for the Pushtimarg in devotion of Shrinathji.

The exhibition takes visitors through a year in Nathdwara, where the daily worship of Shrinathji is characterized by the changing seasons and a bustling festival calendar. Gallery by gallery, visitors are introduced to the pichvais used as backdrops for Shrinathji in his shrine, each uniquely suited to a particular season or festival. The accompanying miniature paintings offer further insight into the Pushtimarg sect: its mode of veneration, history, and important priests and patron families. Enhancing the experience of the sect’s rich culture are festival and devotional music, a shrine reconstruction, and touchscreen kiosks that allow visitors to page through religious manuscripts, an artist’s sketchbook, and a historic photo album. The exhibition concludes with an exploration of the works, sketches, and observations of prominent 20th- and 21st-century Nathdwara artists who have kept the painting tradition flourishing through the present day.

Gates of the Lord comprises drawings, pichvais, paintings, and historic photographs borrowed chiefly from two major private collections in India, the Amit Ambalal Collection (Ahmedabad, India) and the TAPI Collection (Surat, India). These rare loans are augmented by important objects from a number of public and private collections within the United States, including the Art Institute’s own permanent collection, in order to present the richest possible story of Pushtimarg art and tradition.

Sponsors
Lead Sponsorship for Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Paintings has been provided by Nita and Mukesh Ambani and the Reliance Foundation.”

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Coming Exhibition: The Wrath of the Gods

The Wrath of the Gods:
Masterpieces by Rubens, Michelangelo, and Titian

Who:  

Philadelphia Museum of Art

When: Sept. 12, 2015 – Dec. 6, 2015 (Hours Vary)

Where: 

Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130

More Information: Here.

The Wrath of the Gods focuses on Peter Paul Rubens’s masterpiece, Prometheus Bound, a singular vision of pain, torment, and creative struggle. This unprecedented exhibition places the work—one of the most important and beloved in the Museum’s collection—in conversation with paintings, drawings, and prints that inspired it. Highlights include Michelangelo’s Tityus, perhaps the artist’s most famous drawing, and Titian’s Tityus, the largest nonreligious painting on canvas of the Renaissance. The Wrath of the Gods brings together these and other pivotal works, offering a fresh opportunity to delve into the creative process of one of art history’s most important figures.Rubens’s painting depicts a scene from the Greek myth of Prometheus, a mighty Titan who steals fire from the gods on Mount Olympus to give to humanity. As punishment, Zeus, king of the Olympians, orders Prometheus to be forever chained to a rock, where each day an eagle devours his perpetually regenerating liver. Collaborating closely with famed animal and still-life painter Frans Snyders, Rubens rendered the brutal encounter in violent detail: the enormous bird viciously attacks the face and muscular body of Prometheus, who locks eyes with his assailant as he tumbles downward in agony. The monumental canvas, which Rubens considered one of his most important works, represents the virtuoso artist at his absolute height.Despite the significance of Rubens’s masterpiece, no exhibition has ever been devoted to it. The Wrath of the Gods shows how the artist’s talent for creating images bursting with physicality, movement, and color was profoundly shaped by the work of Italian Renaissance greats Michelangelo and Titian as well as antique sculpture, especially the Vatican’s famedLaocoön. During his extensive travels, Rubens studied these compelling examples firsthand, analyzing their figures, subject matter, and compositions and merging them with own Baroque sensibilities.To further explore Rubens’s sources of inspiration, the exhibition also presents an 1805 full-scale cast of The Laocoön, on loan from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and works by northern European artists Hendrik Goltzius and Michiel Coxcie, whose painting Cain and Abel debuts in Philadelphia as a newly rediscovered treasure after a recent cleaning by the Museo del Prado in Madrid. Other key works include Snyders’s sketch for Prometheus Bound’s menacing eagle and Jacob Jordaens’s Prometheus, one of the greatest artistic responses to Rubens’s masterpiece. 

Coming Exhibition: Magnum – Contact Sheets

“Magnum – Contact Sheets”

Who:  

Istanbul Modern

When: Feb. 26, 2015 – Aug. 2, 2015 (Hours Vary)

Where: 

Istanbul Modern
Meclis-i Mebusan Cad. Liman İşletmeleri Sahası Antrepo No: 4, 34433 Karaköy – İSTANBUL

More Information: Here.

“Magnum – Contact Sheets” is a major exhibition that takes the contact sheet as the basis for exploring the creative process behind some of the world’s most iconic photographs from the Magnum Photos agency. The exhibition gives audiences remarkable access and insight into the decision-making processes of many of Magnum’s famous members through the inclusion of first-person accounts. With the development of digital technologies and their huge impact on photographic production, this exploration of photography’s analogue period sets out to both investigate and celebrate a technique that is becoming increasingly historic; to provide an “epitaph”, in the words of Martin Parr.

A contact print is obtained by exposing an image or a set of images against a single sheet of photographic paper of the same size as the negative. Often compared to an artist’s sketchbook, contact sheets are the photographer’s first look at what he or she has captured on the film roll. Because contact sheets provide raw images of the photographs, without any interventions in the process, they offer the artist an opportunity for self-criticism and making a choice. In this sense, looking at contact sheets is like entering the photographer’s private area of work, which he or she keeps secret. On the other hand, by showing us the before and after of the unique scene selected by the photographer, they enable us to witness how that moment came to be. They give the viewer a sense of walking alongside the photographer and seeing through their eyesas they capture the scene. Contact sheets give clues as to the artist’s working process, the way they approach the subject matter and the extent to which the selected snapshot reflects reality.

Shedding light on the behind the scenes process of Magnum photographers, the exhibition reproduces work from over seventy years of visual history, including the D-Day landings by Robert Capa, the 1968 Paris riots by Bruno Barbey, Stuart Franklin’s Tiananmen Square, the Vietnam war by Philip Jones Griffiths and 9/11 by Thomas Hoepker. It showcases iconic portraiture of political figures, actors, artists and musicians, from Che Guevara and Malcolm X, to Miles Davies and The Beatles. Contact sheets and photographs are accompanied by close-up details, articles, books and magazine spreads.

Coming Exhibition: Bharti Kher~ Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Bharti Kher:

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Who:  

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

When: July 1, 2015 – January 31, 2016 (Hours Vary)

Where: 

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
25 Evans Way
Boston, MA 02115

More Information: Here.

Bharti Kher is the sixth artist-in-residence invited to create a temporary site-specific work for the Museum’s façade. Kher’s project reflects on maritime travel, highlighted by her interest in mapping and typography and references the migration of people in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Kher uses bindis, a popular forehead decoration worn by women in India, and a signature element in her work, to map demographic movement in an abstract way.

Bharti Kher’s (b. 1969, England) is an art of dislocation and transience, reflecting her own, largely itinerant life. Born and raised in England, the artist moved to New Delhi in the early 1990s after her formal training in the field. Consequently, the concept of home as the location of identity and culture is constantly challenged in her body of work. In addition to an autobiographical examination of identity, Kher’s unique perspective also facilitates an outsider’s ethnographic observation of contemporary life, class and consumerism in urban India.

Presently, Kher uses the bindi, a dot indicative of the third eye worn by the Indian women on their foreheads, as a central motif in her work. Bharti Kher often refers to her mixed media works with bindis, the mass-produced, yet traditional ornaments, as “action paintings.” Painstakingly placed on the surface one-by-one to form a design, the multi-colored bindis represent custom, often inflexible, as well as the dynamic ways in which it is produced and consumed today. The artist is also known for her collection of wild and unusual resin-cast sculptures and her digital photography.

TEHRAN’S MAYOR REPLACES ADS ON ALL 1,500 CITY BILLBOARDS WITH FAMOUS ARTWORKS

“TEHRAN’S MAYOR REPLACES ADS ON ALL 1,500 CITY BILLBOARDS WITH FAMOUS ARTWORKS”

by Hannah Ghorashi via “Art News

Ghalibaf. COURTESY TEHRAN.IR

As reported by the New York Times today, Dr. Mohammad Baqer Ghalibaf, mayor of Tehran (“[and] a former Revolutionary Guards commander, retired pilot, and the loser of two presidential elections,” the article piles on neutrally) has ordered all of the city’s 1,500 billboards (a significant source of income from advertisements) to be replaced with copies of iconic works of both Western and Iranian art.

The project, installed almost overnight, was organized by the Organization of Beautification of Tehran, a municipal coalition created to improve appearance of parks and public areas. Mojtaba Mousavi, a representative counselor, commented to the Times, “Our people are too busy to go to museums and galleries, so we decided to turn the entire city into a huge gallery.”

Ghalibaf’s sudden zeal for visual art, the article notes, is likely politically motivated. A “canny and ambitious politician despite the two defeats,” Ghalibaf may intend to run for office in the 2016 presidential elections. Art collector and historian Hamid Taheri told the Times, “[This project] is clearly an attempt to win [the people’s] favor. I don’t mind though, it’s amazing to see art across the city.”

Now rising above the streets of Iran are images of Rembrandt paintings, photos by Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Rothko Nos. 3, 10 and 13. Also included is a reproduction of Munch’s The Scream, a choice that will no doubt strike certain residents of Tehran (“who spend hours a day on congested roads”) as empathetic.

The Iranian works, on the other hand, had been selected with far more precaution, or, to put it less euphemistically, with a censoring eye. In Mousavi’s words, “some of the more modern work could lead to objections that we wanted to avoid.”

Only pieces by deceased artists were considered, resulting in the choice of relatively tame images of Persian carpets, paintings inspired by the Book of Kings, and works by painter Bahman Mohassess, fondly known as the “Persian Picasso.”

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