Friday, September 12, 2008

The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters

One of the grand things about life in central New Jersey is the proximity of the world-class museums in Manhattan and Philadelphia, as well as exceptional smaller museums like that at Princeton University and the Zimmerli at Rutgers.

This fall, the Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick is showing Dark Dreams: The Prints of Francisco Goya, an exhibition of 100 prints demonstrating Goya’s technical and creative achievements as a printmaker. The exhibition will present two complete suites of prints by Goya (1746-1828), Los Caprichos and Los Disparates. In addition, a special display of 12 works by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Enrique Chagoya (born 1953) and Yinka Shonibare MBE (born 1962) demonstrates the continuing impact of Goya’s imagery and imagination on successive generations of artists.

The exhibition features Goya’s first major series of etchings, Los Caprichos (1799), comprising eighty works treating subjects ranging from witches and goblins to critical commentary on the contemporary state of education, religion, and relations between different social classes of that time. Later, Goya revisited the monstrous themes of Los Caprichos in the late etchings he referred to as Los Disparates (“Follies”), which he created between 1816 and 1824. The exhibition also includes Bullfight in a Divided Ring (1825), from the series of The Bulls of Bordeaux, a late work demonstrating Goya’s success with the new medium of lithography. The rare first-edition Goya prints in the exhibition are generously lent by the Arthur Ross Foundation, New York.

The exhibition opened on September 2 and will continue through December 14, '08. Apparently everyone is invited to a public celebration at the museum next Tuesday, September 16, from 5 to 7pm.

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