Reverence Renewed @ DePaul Art Museum This Thursday

13 Jan

thomanArt lovers: if you’re near the DePaul Lincoln Park campus this coming Thursday, January 15, stop by the DePaul Art Museum to check out the opening reception for REVERENCE RENEWED: Colonial Andean Art from the Thoma Collection. The reception is from 5-7 p.m, so you can check it out on the way home from work. Demon Tracks talked to museum director Louise Lincoln about the exhibit:

Demon Tracks: Can you tell us about what we’ll see in this exhibit?
Louise Lincoln: This is an exhibition of about 40 paintings made in Latin America between the 17th and the 18th centuries. They’re representations of life and history during a very charged and interesting moment. The paintings are very much in the European tradition: oil on canvas. In their general form, they are a whole lot like Spanish or Flemish Baroque paintings from Europe – for obvious reasons.

Painting on canvas was introduced into the New World by the conquistadors. Painting was originally introduced into Latin America as part of missionary efforts to convert people: You could put the story of a saint’s life, for example, into a painting. You could put iconic representations of the Virgin and Child into a painting…

Initially the conquistadors brought in painters who were working alone with missionaries, so there were a lot of church subjects, and there were also European painters brought into to the New World. Over time, a group of local painters and craftsmen were trained, and they created the images themselves, in the European tradition, but with very interesting differences and distinctions. These are gorgeous works, lavish and beautiful, but they are also a very interesting record of cultural conflict, cultural change and working out a relationship between European arrival and the local population, which you see happening in the pictures themselves.

DT: How did this exhibition come together?
LL: We had a guest curator to work on this, as we often do: Delia Cosentino who is an assistant professor in the History of Art and Architecture [in the department of art and art history]. All the paintings come from a local private collection, a Chicago couple [Marilynn and Carl Thoma] who have been acquiring paintings like this for about ten years. I first met the collectors about 4-5 years ago and thought it was just wonderful, we’ve been working ever since to come up with an exhibition like this. When we had the idea for it, Delia Cosentino was an obvious choice to work on it because she’s on DePaul’s faculty and she’s an expert in the field.

Reverence Renewed will be featured at the DePaul Art Museum until March 20, 2009.

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