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Calendar: United States

Events in Art and Archaeology

What May Come: The Taller de Gráfica Popular and the Mexican Political Print
CHICAGO, UNITED STATES  •  Art Institute of Chicago  •  4 July - 12 October 2014
In 1945, the Art Institute of Chicago commissioned Mexican printmaker and political activist Leopoldo Méndez to create a custom woodblock print that would be the centerpiece of the artist’s first major exhibition in the United States. Now, almost 70 years later, that print and the original woodblock Mendez carved are part of the exhibition What May Come: The Taller de Gráfica Popular and the Mexican Political Print, on view in the museum’s Jean and Steven Goldman Prints and Drawing Galleries in the Richard and Mary Gray Wing.

The Taller de Gráfica Popular (the Popular Graphic Art Workshop), or TGP, created some of the most memorable images in mid-century printmaking. The Mexico City–based workshop, founded in 1937 by Méndez, Luis Arenal and American-born Pablo O’Higgins, took up the legacy of the famous Mexican broadside illustrator José Guadalupe Posada. The group created prints, posters, and illustrated publications that were popular, affordable, legible, politically topical, and, above all, formally compelling.

In addition to the commissioned Méndez woodblock print, the exhibition includes more than 100 works from the Art Institute’s rich holdings—one of the most significant TGP collections in the United States. The range of works demonstrates why this collective boasted such international influence and inspired the establishment of print collectives around the world.

Showcasing the TGP’s prolific and varied output, What May Come is organized into thematic sections such as Chicago connections to the TGP, antifascism, national history, daily life, caricature, and popular visual traditions. A Spanish-English catalogue authored by guest curator Diane Miliotes accompanies the exhibition.

Art Institute of Chicago Website

Contact: Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60603-6404
Tel: (1) 312 443 36 00

<P>René Magritte: <EM>Les Amants/Die</EM> <EM>Liebenden</EM>, 1928 </P>

René Magritte: Les Amants/Die Liebenden, 1928

Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938
CHICAGO, UNITED STATES  •  Art Institute of Chicago  •  24 June - 13 October 2014
This exhibition, the first major museum show to focus on the artist’s most inventive and experimental years, features over 100 paintings, collages, drawings, and objects, along with a selection of photographs, periodicals, and early commercial work, that trace the birth of the themes and strategies Magritte would go on to use throughout his long, productive career.

Art Institute of Chicago Website

Contact: Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60603-6404
Tel: (1) 312 443 36 00

Yinka Shonibare MBE: Wind Series
CHICAGO, UNITED STATES  •  Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago  •  16 June - 21 October 2014
This summer, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presents the London-based artist Yinka Shonibare MBE, the next artist for the annual plaza series. Shonibare’s installation premieres three sculptures from his new Wind Series. Roughly twenty feet high, each monumental sculpture captures the movement of a billowing bolt of fabric, with designs inspired by the sails of ships, and patterns derived from Dutch wax fabric, or “African” batik. Shonibare works with these iconic fabrics to consider how signs of national or ethnic identity are culturally constructed.

Yinka Shonibare was born in 1962 in the United Kingdom to Nigerian parents, who returned to Lagos with their children when he was three. When he was seventeen he relocated to London, where he currently lives and works. He studied at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and at the Byam Shaw School of Art, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts, London. His work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions and is in public and private collections throughout the world. In 2005 Shonibare was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire, MBE, a distinction he uses despite and because of its irony.

Museum of Contemporary Art Website

Contact: 220 E Chicago Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Tel: (1) 312 280 26 60

<P>Josef Koudelka: <EM>Invasión 68 Praga</EM> (Invasion 68 Prague)Photo courtesy of  Espacio de Arte de Fundación OSDE</P>

Josef Koudelka: Invasión 68 Praga (Invasion 68 Prague)
Photo courtesy of  Espacio de Arte de Fundación OSDE

Josef Koudelka: Nationality Doubtful
CHICAGO, UNITED STATES  •  Art Institute of Chicago  •  7 June - 14 September 2014
Czech-born French artist Josef Koudelka belongs in the firmament of classic photographers working today. Honored with the French Prix Nadar (1978), the Hasselblad Prize (1992), and the International Center of Photography Infinity Award (2004), Koudelka is also a leading member of the world-renowned photo agency Magnum. This exhibition, his first retrospective in the United States since 1988, is also the first museum show ever to emphasize his original vintage prints, period books, magazines, and significant unpublished materials.

Choosing exile to avoid reprisals for his Invasion photographs, Koudelka traveled throughout Europe during the 1970s and 1980s, camping at village festivals from spring through fall and then printing in wintertime. His photographs of those decades became the series Exiles. Since the late 1980s Koudelka has made panoramic landscape photographs in areas massively shaped by industry, territorial conflict, or—in the case of the Mediterranean rim—the persistence of Classical civilization.

A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition, which after its debut at the Art Institute travels to the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and Fundación MAPFRE, Madrid.

Art Institute of Chicago Website

Contact: Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60603-6404
Tel: (1) 312 443 36 00

When the Greeks Ruled Egypt
CHICAGO, UNITED STATES  •  The Art Institute of Chicago  •  31 October 2013 - 27 July 2014

Alexander the Great seized Egypt on his mission to conquer the Persian Empire in 332 B.C.; when his general Ptolemy came to rule Egypt, he found it wise to adapt to the much older culture. His dynasty, which ruled for the subsequent 300 years.

When the Greeks Ruled Egypt begins with a range of works created in the 3,000 years before the arrival of Alexander the Great in Egypt. Centered on the belief of a real and tactile afterlife that mirrored life on earth, sculptors, painters, goldsmiths, scribes, glassmakers, and architects created beautiful funerary goods to serve rich and poor in eternity. Religious belief that had changed very little in over three millennia meant artwork was remarkably consistent and abided by time-honored traditions that carried forward the distinctive visual culture of past generations, including the iconic Egyptian convention of representing the human body.

Wall Fragment from the Tomb of Thenti (Egyptian, Old Kingdom, Dynasty 5, 2504–2347 B.C.) is just such a representation that simultaneously depicts the frontal and side views of the body; the eye and shoulders are frontal while the head, nose, and mouth are shown in profile. Other artworks show meat, vegetables, vessels full of libations, and inventories of linen to assure abundance for the deceased in life after death. To ensure protection in the afterlife, Egyptians stocked their tombs with security-giving amulets and figurines like the Ushabti of Nebseni (at left; Egyptian, New Kingdom, early Dynasty 17, about 1570 B.C.), which were thought to act as helpful servants.

The exhibition moves from such representative Egyptian expressions to the intermingling of artistic traditions under Alexander the Great and his successor in Egypt, Ptolemy. The Greek rulers in Egypt claimed kinship with the Greek Zeus and the Egyptian Amon and also invented a totally new god, Serapis, who oversaw Egyptian grain production so crucial to Greeks and later, the Romans. The exhibition showcases the fusion of two artistic traditions with works that incorporate the Classical (Greek and Roman) interest in naturalism with millennia-old Egyptian practices. Reliefs from the Ptolemaic period in When the Greeks Ruled Egypt show subjects that are traditionally Egyptian, yet subtly introduce the true-to-life style of the Ptolemies. New coinage, modeled on Greek standard weights, used classical imagery but with Egyptian characteristics like the ram’s horn of Zeus Amon curled around the ears of the rulers depicted.

The exhibition also includes works from the Roman period, which began in 30 B.C. after Octavian’s defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, the last actively ruling pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Mummy portraits painted during Roman rule adhere to Roman tastes for realistic portraiture, but indicate how assimilated into Egyptian life some Greeks and Romans became by practicing mummification, albeit with the slight variation of a portrait as face cover.

The Art Institute of Chicago Website

Contact: The Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60603-6110

Tel: (1) 312 443 36 00

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