Monday, April 27, 2009

"Sacred Spain" Exhibit at IMA

The first exhibition to examine the religious visual culture of 17th-century Spain and Latin America will open at the Indianapolis Museum of Art on 11 October.

"Sacred Spain: Art and Belief in the Spanish World" brings to life the challenges faced by visual artists such as El Greco, Francisco Zurbarán, Alonso Cano, Franciso Ribalta, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Juan de Valdes Leal, Juan Correa, Cristobal Villalpando and others, who were charged with the creative task of making religious imagery that was "useful, truthful and moving".

The exhibition will feature 70 works — including paintings, polychrome sculpture, metalwork and books, many of which have never before been seen in the United States — that not only illustrate religious iconography and allegory, but also bring to light the significant role of the artist in 17th-century Spain. "Sacred Spain" will be on view through 3 January 2010.

A $1 million grant from the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation to support the exhibition will allow the IMA to offer free general admission to "Sacred Spain".

A two-day symposium titled “Sacred and Profane in the Early Modern Hispanic World” will be held on 16 and 17 October, coinciding with the exhibit.

Symposium topics will include 1) The Irreligious, dealing with cultural production that rejected Catholic orthodoxy; 2) The Non-religious, in which the discourse of religion stands aside from cultural production; 3) Classical Myth and its engagement and/or distancing from Catholic culture; 4) Sacred Others: Jewish, Islamic and Pre-Columbian religious perspectives; 5) Empire and Religion, on the implication of religion into this expansive mindset; and 6) Text and the Sacred Image, investigating interrelationships among texts and the visual.

The first day will take place at the IMA, and the second day will take place at Indiana University Bloomington. The symposium, organized in conjunction with the Departments of Spanish and Portuguese and the History of Art at Indiana University, will bring together internationally recognized scholars from the fields of art history, literature, sociology, language and history.

There's more here.


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