Exploring historical exhibits that speak to the here and now


Time was constantly present during the first year of the pandemic: that was the worst about it. The days became shapeless, separated from the past, separated from the future; Nothing stuck, nothing endured; The whole month washed me in a vague delirium of posts and photos. Rediscovering ourselves means rediscovering time – not a time of push notifications and 14-day infection rates, but a deeper, evolutionary time, where we were informed about who we are and who we will be.

how? where? In a museum, for example: a compression room of the past, present and future. This autumn, historical treasure exhibitions and collection displays across the United States promise to illustrate our own dark ages.

I look forward to going back this fall Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, received four years ago a transformative gift More than 100 Dutch and Flemish paintings from the 17th century by Rembrandt, Rubens and some less familiar names. On 20 November, the MFA inaugurates its new Low Countries galleries, as well as the Netherlands Art Center which will be the first research institution in the US that promises to foreground these paintings’ reflections of both commerce, slavery, exploration and the environment. Is.

Dutch art has a reputation for calmness, but these painters from Amsterdam, Haarlem or Antwerp were hardly taking it easy. They were working in cities with economic booms at the beginning of shareholder capitalism and imperial expansion – and in their still lives and paintings you can see a new society fueled by the flow of goods and people from Brazil to Indonesia. (And so did the morning of the art market: in Holland, most artists painted on fiction for middle-class collectors.)

Plan a fresh look at the ships sailing the Atlantic and still life laden with Asian cuisine, and prepare for a groundbreaking rediscovery: Five Paintings by michelina votier, an artist from Baroque Brussels, one of the few women of her time who painted historical paintings on a large scale.

In “Wolf Hall” Hillary Mantle imagines the first glimpse of Thomas Cromwell five centuries ago his hard boiled picture by Hans Holbein – who looked to the royal family, bankers and ambassadors alike to be precise.

“The swan has smoothed his skin like the skin of a prostitute, but the speed he has captured is sure to bend the fingers, like a slacker’s when he picks up a murderer’s knife.”

Opening on “Holbein: Capturing Character in the Renaissance,” J. Paul Getty Museum On October 19 in Los Angeles, the Tudor Court has the first full-scale American exhibition for this German; It has been hosted with the Morgan Library in New York, where it follows next year.

Another, later Londoner with European ambitions: JMW Turner, whose brainstorming photos The battlefields of the North Sea and Waterloo brought the landscape out of the norm and into a modernizing era. “Turner’s Modern World, “seen at the Tate Britain last year and arriving October 17 at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, places his nautical paintings in a less provocative historical context: the Napoleonic Wars, the Industrial Revolution, the expansion of the British Empire.

Looking at Turner’s naval portraits from nearly 30 years ago, British historian Paul Gilroy A glimpse of a new type of man formed through maritime exchanges – and a challenge to “reconstruct the early history of modernity from the point of view of the slaves”.

That book was called “The Black Atlantic, and Gilroy’s influential understanding of a fluid Black modernity that spanned Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas underlies the vast exposition”.Afro-Atlantic History– A Five-Century Campaign which opens on October 24 at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. It was first seen in 2018 Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo, where it was revered as a landmark; Here, its Brazilian roots should extend our conversations around art and race to a hemisphere scale beyond American narcissism. (The show will travel to Washington, then Los Angeles, in 2022.)

An exciting new look at Italian art history will be offered in Hartford, where Wadsworth presents the Atheneum”From Her Hands: Artemisia Gentileschi and Women Artists in Italy, 1500–1800Although it focuses on Gentileschi and her theatrically staged self-portraits, the show also promises to introduce us to 17 other Italian female painters, engravers, and miniaturists, from the Renaissance to the Rococo.

is one of the most interesting Orsola Maddalena Cassia (1596–1676), who worked in a register far from Gentileschi’s sentimental domain: she was a nun who still lives sober and efficient from an Ursuline convent in Piedmont. The show opens on September 30 and moves to Detroit next year.

What do you do when the world goes crazy? You go to Zurich – where artists fleeing World War I blew raspberries in a new language called Dada, and where Swiss polymaths Sophie Taeuber-Arp The art object envisioned for a new century of uncertainties.

A painting in his hands can turn into wallpaper, which can serve as a background for a performance; A beaded handbag and a geometric abstraction can be stimulating in equal measure. “Sophie Taeuber-Arp: Living Abstraction, “Now more at Tate Modern in London Inauguration at the Museum of Modern Art In New York on November 21, this most underrated of modernists collects nearly 400 works; Long before he learned the term multimedia, he saw culture as an endless translation into forms.

And speaking of Zurich and the devastation, if the virus doesn’t stop me, I plan to be in Switzerland for a major show on culture and climate. “the earth beats,Opening October 9 in the Kunsthaus Zurich, it proposes understanding our place in the environment long before climate change was named – all the way back to the Romantic era, when landscape painters began to portray nature as something unstable, Uncontrollable, inaccessible.

The climate change we are going through is unprecedented; There are no tailor-made models from the past. But you don’t go to the museum for ready answers; You go to rediscover that you are not alone.



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