MADRID – Peruvian contemporary art went center stage at Madrid’s renowned ARCO international art fair at a preview Wednesday acting as a curtain raiser with an exhibition that places Latin American artists alongside Spanish masters.
The show titled “In order of appearance” exhibits Peruvian and Latin American art from the Hochschild Collection alongside several art history greats including Renaissance artist El Greco, romantic painter Francisco Goya and baroque painter Francisco Zurbaran, as part of the “Peru in ARCO” program.
The seemingly haphazard placement of old with new isn’t a capricious statement, Luis Perez-Oramas joint curator of the exhibition said.
“It reflects a real and permanent state of communication and encounters between Latin American and Spanish artists,” the curator added.
The exhibition opens with a piece by Peruvian Sandra Gamarra which shares the title of the show and features a self-portrait of the artist with her back to the viewer, a nod to the act of admiring art, as a portrait of Brother Jeronimo Perez (1868), by Zurbaran, lurks in the background.
“El sueño del Caballero,” (1650) by Spanish Golden Age master Antonio Pereda, which taps into the ephemeral nature of earthly pleasures, hangs adjacent to a make-shift still-life by Colombian political artist Rosemberg Sandoval who created the artwork with fragments he collected from the aftermath of a terror attack in Cali.
Several works by German-born Mexican sculptor Mathias Goeritz, well known for his passion for “emotional architecture” — he believed objects made profound emotional impressions and should not be observed as purely functional things — are placed in the same space as some of Goya’s monumental canvasses, including his portraits of Manuel Godoy (a Spanish politician who served as prime minister during the late 18th and early 19th centuries) and La Tirana (Spanish actress Maria del Rosario Fernandez).
On the second floor Jerry Martin’s “Calvin Tomkin’s Fountain” makes a clear reference to Marcel Duchamp’s urinal (1917), which featured a toilet turned upside down and triggered the use of mundane objects designated as art by the artist and as such broadening the scope of what could be considered art forever more.
The third and final floor focuses on modern art and in particular with sculptural works from the late 20th century featuring Colombian Feliza Bursztyn, Mexican Helen Escobedo and German-Venezuelan Gertrud Goldschmidt.
The exhibition wraps up with a room dedicated to Pablo Picasso, Julio Gonzalez and Juan Gris (all Spanish) alongside Uruguayan Joaquin Torres and his canvass titled “Assembled abstract forms” (1937).
The exhibition, which aims to challenge art history narratives through a curatorial endeavor that ignores chronology in favor of thematic and formal analogies, will be showing at the San Fernando Fine Arts Academy until April 21.