all images courtesy of Instituto Moreira Salles
The Trailblazing Peruvian Photographer
Who Captured a Vanishing World
In 1905, when the Andean photographer Martín Chambi was 14 years old, he traveled to northwestern Peru with his father, who had a job working in a gold mine there. At the time, there were no indigenous photographers in the country, and images of the Quechua people were mostly captured through the lenses of French and American photographers. But after meeting the photographer for his father’s mining company, Chambi became enamored with the camera. He soon apprenticed himself to Max T. Vargas — one of the earliest Peruvian photographers — and a legend was born.
“I’ve read that in Chile they think that the indigenous South American peoples have no culture, that they are not civilized, that they are intellectually and artistically inferior to European white peoples,” he wrote in 1936, long after he’d become a celebrated Peruvian photographer. “[My] artworks are a graphic testament that is more eloquent than my own opinion … I feel I am representing my race; my people will speak through the photographs.”
Chambi is most famous for his expressive, painterly portrayals of Peru’s diverse society, some of which are currently on view at São Paulo’s Instituto Moreira Salles in Face Andina – Fotografias de Martín Chambi. The exhibition builds on the museum’s recent acquisition of 88 of Chambi’s images and spans the breadth of his prolific, five-decades-long career, during which he produced more than 40,000 glass plate negatives. In addition to the portraits, the show includes 23 postcards (Chambi introduced them to the country) as well as panoramas of Machu Pichuu, which he was the first to document after its “discovery” by Hiram Bingham.
“[Chambi’s images] integrate [an] important part of the South American imagination,” the curators write in a press release. “[They are] poetic, mysterious, and incisive documents of a vanished world.”
Part of the intrigue of Martín’s work is that, for the first time, he represented the indigenous people of the Andes without the inflection of the “colonial eye”, documenting with elegance and attention to detail, a world that few had seen—Andean women sitting before their chicherías, a young man playing a pan pipe with his llama beside him, a group of men raising a cross in fresh light, mist surrounding them and the flags of Peru blurred by wind. His legacy reveals his fascination with indigenous culture and an impressive aptitude for capturing everyday life and its fleeting moments.
Spirits of the Passage presents a display of nearly 150 historical objects covering more than 350 years. The exhibition is the first exhibition of its kind to examine the entire history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade from the 16th through 19th centuries. The 4,000 square foot exhibition is in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and the turning point it represented for thousands of enslaved people at a pivotal point in the American Civil War. It is the first exhibition of its kind to examine the entire history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade from the 16th through 19th centuries, while also presenting the most up-to-date research and discoveries to the public. These include the latest marine archeological discoveries, new research on key African societies and an exploration of the slave trade’s modern day legacies.
Produced by the Frazier History Museum in partnership with the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West, Florida and with sponsorship support from the University of Louisville, Spirits of the Passage allows guests to see authentic artifacts from the wreck of an actual slave ship, such as restraints, tools, plates and trade goods, as well as dozens of other objects from West Africa societies that show the uniqueness of the individual cultures they represent. These include religious objects, bronze and beadwork, pottery and jewelry. These compelling artifacts, along with maps, paintings and illustrations, create a provocative picture of this tragic era, while also engendering a sense of pride in the legacy of strength these enslaved people left behind.
“Spirits of the Passage represents a wealth of new scholarship on a topic that often gets reduced to data and charts,” said Frazier History Museum Executive Director Madeleine Burnside, a slave trade historian. “What’s so rare about this exhibition is how we delve into the details of this haunting world event—with real stories about specific people and coordinating artifacts.” Objects for the exhibition are on loan from the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, which has one of the finest collections of this sort in the world, as well as the Speed Art Museum, which contributed objects from the Congo, Dahomey and Igbo cultures. Burnside continued, “We’ve worked with a distinguished group of scholars from across the country, as well as local interest groups to ensure that we’re doing this vast topic justice on not only an academic level, but a human one as well.”
Using maps, dioramas, informative panels, audio stations and artifacts, the exhibition sets out to dispel myths, offer new insights and encourage a community conversation about history’s by-standards, up-standers and activists, and the interconnectedness of people from various parts of the globe. To this end, The DuSable will be hosting a number of related events and programs during the run of Spirits of the Passage, as well as special programming for school groups.
Spirits of the Passage: The Story of the Transatlantic Slave Trade will open on Friday, September 19, 2014 and continue through Sunday, January 4, 2015. The exhibition is partially supported by Macy’s and a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago, Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events. For more information on the exhibition please call 773-947-0600 or visit our website, The DuSable Museum of African American History gratefully acknowledges the Chicago Park District’s generous support of the Museum.
Five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease and dementia -- many of them alone in nursing homes. A man with a simple idea discovers that songs embedded deep in memory can ease pain and awaken these fading minds. Joy and life are resuscitated, and our cultural fears over aging are confronted.
The discovery of what seems to be the first European depiction of Native Americans in a fresco in the Vatican is not just a chapter in the history of two continents. It is a revelation about the origins of the nude in art.
In Europe 500 years ago, statues were throwing off their clothes. The naked human body was honoured in a revolutionary way. After more than a millennium of Christian veiling, the flesh was suddenly shown off. Michelangelo carved his statue of David, putting a colossal male nude at the public heart of the Florentine republic. Giorgione emulated him by putting nude paintings of women outdoors in Venice. In Orvieto, the wiry nudes of Luca Signorelli gathered for the Last Judgment.
Traditionally this rebirth of the nude, which shaped a new sense of human beauty and helped create modern culture, is explained by the Renaissance rediscovery of ancient Greek and Roman nude sculpture. But there was another cause – and it has been revealed by the restorer who discovered long-lost images of Americans hidden in a fresco by Pinturicchio.
The painting in the Vatican shows American Indians dancing naked: a penis is clearly visible in this frank portrayal of life in the New World.
Columbus first sailed to the Americas in 1492: in that year Europe "discovered" America. The newly found scene was painted just two years later. It records one of the most dramatic stories the explorers told about America's indigenous peoples: they are naked, nudo, wrote the adventurer Amerigo Vespucci, who followed soon after Columbus.
Woodcuts in books by Columbus and Vespucci, like this newly found painting, show America as a continent of nudes. Vespucci's writings were circulating in Florence when Michelangelo worked on David. The nude figure Michelangelo carved is a noble savage: an American, naked and innocent. The discovery of pure, uncorrupted, naked people on the far side of the world helped to inspire the idea that nudity is the noblest way for a human being to be.
America was a Garden of Earthly Delights, Europeans thought, as they set out to pillage Eden.
"The Invisible Man" — Liu Bolin Artist statement: China consumes more coal than any other country in the world, using it for everything from electricity and producing steel to deadly indoor heating and cooking in some rural areas. With their unregulated mines, China's coal mines are also fatal and thousands of people a year die due to explosions, cave-ins, and other disasters. Coal Pile is a conceptual commentary on the consequences of not only the dependence on coal, a limited resource, but the dangers that come for families who work with and use coal, ironically, to survive. Credit: Liu Bolin/Eli Klein Fine Art
coal train abutment
This installation is on an abutment that the coal train uses to transfer coal from the mine some 70 miles away to the coal burning plant in page, arizona. When the first images of the earth were beamed back from space in the 60s, the coal burning power plant on the navajo nation near farmington, new mexico was one of the few man made things clearly identifiable by the large amount of pollution being emitted from it.
Artist statement: For this piece I informally interviewed 16 navajo co-workers and asked them to share with me the first thing that comes to mind when i say "coal." everyone acknowledged that the coal mined on the reservation is used to generate energy off the reservation for surrounding megalopolises like denver, phoenix, albuquerque and l.a. they found this arrangement to be problematic.
Death and Life has two very clearly separated parts. To the left, we see Death. Death is depicted and the classic grim reaper, a grinning skull, covered in a dark robe covered with symbols. The main symbol we see covering Death is that of the cross.
To the right we see life. We see a number of young women lying on a flower bed. We see a muscular man holding one of the women and we see an older woman also lying in the middle of the group. The depiction thus covers people, young and old, with a focus on the adults in their best age. There is an over representation of women in the painting which could refer to women as the source of all life. It could also reflect Klimt's preference for depiction women, preferably somewhat undressed. All the subjects are somewhat covered by cloth bearing numerous symbols.
Gustav Klimt was seen as an artist who was far ahead of his time, and much of the work that was produced during the Austrian born artist's career, was seen as controversial. It was criticized due to the erotic and exotic nature. Although symbolism was used in his art forms, it was not at all subtle, and it went far beyond what the imagination during the time frame accepted. Although his work was not widely accepted during his time, some of the pieces that Gustav Klimt did create during his career, are today seen as some of the most important and influential pieces to come out of Austria. Early lifeGustav Klimt was born in Austria in 1862. His father worked as a gold engraver, but was not very successful in his trade; for this reason, the family did not live a great life, and Klimt was raised in poverty stricken areas, with very little as a young child. In 1876, when he was 14 years old, Klimt enrolled in the Vienna Public Arts Schools; he was noticed right away for the talent and the art forms he created. Because of this, he received his first commission to create art for public viewing, while he was studying. Early workDuring the 1880s, Gustav Klimt, his brother Ernst, and Franz Matsch, begin a productive cooperation. They begin to do work in theaters, in churches, and public work in museums; many of the pieces which they created, were ordered by patrons who frequented the locations which they created works for. During this time, Gustav Klimt also created a piece for the Burg Theater, as well as the Kunsthistorisches Museum, which is located in Vienna. The Allegories collection that he submits, is seen as a creative, and timeless piece; because of the work, he is commissioned to do a second piece for the museum. In this second collection, the style which includes gold paint, abstract space in the art, and exotic symbolism of the female figure, is a prominent style, which he sticks with for future pieces that he creates. New Art Movement and Gustav Klimt's StyleIn 1891, Gustav Klimt enrolls and becomes a member of the Co-operative society of Austrian artists, and the following year, both his brother and his father pass away. It is during this time that he decides to move to a larger studio, so that he will be able to create more, and will have more room to delve into the art forms he wants to work on in the future. In 1893, Gustav Klimt and Matsch are commissioned to paint the ceiling of the cathedral, in the new university of Vienna. During this period, both artists have a falling out; this in turn slows down the work, since both are taking a different approach in creation. Many of the pieces that were designed for the university, including "Medicine" and "Jurisprudence", are not widely accepted by the local community, and are met with disdain due to the extreme symbolic nature in the art forms that were created in this public institution.
Due to the disgrace, and disdain of locals, Gustav Klimt feels that his work and popularity are taking a turn for the worst; it is in 1897 that he begins the Secession Movement. This movement takes focus on young artists, in an attempt to expose their work, and help bring foreign art forms to the Vienna based magazines. In 1898, the movement has its first organized exhibit, which draws in a very large showing, of about 57,000 visitors. From this period, to about 1905, Gustav Klimt was a central force and leader of this movement; in fact, during this decade, it was the most popular, and most well known art movement in Vienna.
Although Gustav Klimt and his former partner had a falling out, in 1900, the first exhibit which he created for the University of Vienna, was laid out for public display. It was presented at the Paris World Fair, and he won the Grand Prix award for this piece. He continues the work in the university through 1901, even though it is met with criticism by many locals in Vienna.
After leaving the Secession Movement in 1905, Gustav Klimt takes on a new approach, which is not well accepted in Vienna; not only by other artists, but by the locals either. He creates various pieces, which include: Danae, and The Kiss. which are extremely erotic and exotic in nature. They depict the differences in sexuality between men and women, and the pieces he creates during this time, although symbolic, are very literal in many of the figures, and depiction of the human form. Up until about 1914, many of the pieces that he created, took on this sexual under pining, and were not widely accepted, in part due to their graphic nature, and in part because of the time period that he lived in and worked in. Travels to RomeIn 1911, Gustav Klimt travels to Florence and Rome, and creates several pieces. Death and Life, The Virgin, and The Bride are among the landscape pieces that he creates during the next few years. Outside of Vienna, these pieces were a bit more widely accepted, namely due to the different art forms in regions outside of his home city. Although his work was still graphic in nature, and took a non traditional approach to depicting landscape, and the human figure, much of the work which he created only a few years prior to his death, were more widely accepted outside of Vienna. DeathIn 1918, Gustav Klimt suffered from a stroke in his apartment; and, on February 6th of that year, he dies due to pneumonia. Although much of his work was not accepted during his career, due to his intense style, and graphic depictions, it was far more accepted following his death. In addition to the sales of his pieces increasing post death, many of the pieces that Gustav Klimt did create during the course of his career, were seen as some of the best to come out of Vienna, and some of the most influential pieces for future artists coming out of the city.
As the art historian Alessandra Comini described it, "The knees were bent and the legs splayed out to expose a carefully detailed pubic area on which the artist had leisurely begun to paint an overlay 'dress' of suggestive and symbolic ornamental shapes." Thus Klimt's own death revealed the sexual obsession that lay beneath his shimmering surfaces.
Both during his lifetime and later, there have always been examples of an eroticizing aim to recreate his art or even go beyond it. Other authors have pointed out that the erotic could be regarded as a socio-political and culturally progressive force. Thus, Klimt is seen as an artist who contributed considerably to the emancipation of women and the rediscovery of the lost power of the erotic element, an artist who was critical of his time and its outmoded cultural morality. "Klimt's permanent achievement," wrote Han Bisanz in 1984, "is that he liberated the artistic depiction of human beings from the fetters of morality and opportunism and that he made visible by means of his style, the basic mental images of man's inner life, images that point to a timeless element in the course of a person's individual destiny. And finally, as the quoted passage seems to indicate, Klimt can be seen as a psychologist, as someone who analyzed psychological phenomena and who pursued similar aims to those of his great contemporary, Sigmund
If there was ever a temperamental painter, Cagnacci was worth noting. He was extremely volatile with a run toward violence and lust, but was also deeply religious and amazingly talented as a painter.
Cagnacci is not well-known to us today as an Italian painter, but was well-known during his lifetime. He was an eccentric prone to indulgent and notable romantic activities. He lived and worked during the late Baroque period, and died in 1663. Cagnacci is known for his study of the female form both in his art and in real life.
The first retrospective display of his works is being held in Musei San Domenico, Piazza Guido Da Montefeltro, Forli’. A small town in eastern Romagna, there is a great deal of local flair to the village including the works of this little known master. Today, his painting as hailed as excellent in both form and subject, although at the time Cagnacci was the subject of gossip as well as note for his abilities.
During his lifetime, Cagnacci moved from patron to patron and city to city due to his extravagant lifestyle and rather volatile personality. After a time, he began to focus almost exclusively on salon works which featured the female form from the thigh up. Some of his most notable paintings were of famous women throughout history including Mary Magdalene and Cleopatra.
His work with the female body was exquisite and to keep his work and lifestyle in top form, he often traveled with many of his beautiful models. To reduce scandal at least a bit, the models often traveled garbed as men so as not to call too much attention to themselves. Despite this Cagnacci was known for his rather outlandish behavior and companions as well as a failed elopement with a rich heiress.
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (Milan, 28 September 1571 - Porto Ercole, 18 July 1610) was an Italian artist active in Rome, Naples, Malta and Sicily between 1593 and 1610. He is commonly placed in the Baroque school, of which he is considered the first great representative.
Even in his own lifetime Caravaggio was considered enigmatic, fascinating, rebellious and dangerous. He burst upon the Rome art scene in 1600, and thereafter never lacked for commissions or patrons, yet he handled his success atrociously. An early published notice on him, dating from 1604 and describing his lifestyle some three years previously, tells how "after a fortnight's work he will swagger about for a month or two with a sword at his side and a servant following him, from one ball-court to the next, ever ready to engage in a fight or an argument, so that it is most awkward to get along with him." In 1606 he killed a young man in a brawl and fled from Rome with a price on his head. In Malta in 1608 he was involved in another brawl, and yet another in Naples in 1609, possibly a deliberate attempt on his life by unidentified enemies. By the next year, after a relatively brief career, he was dead.
Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin [Ива́н Ива́нович Ши́шкин; 25 January 1832 - 20 March 1898] was a Russian landscape painter closely associated with the Peredvizhniki movement.
The Peredvizhniki, or The Wanderers, were a movement of Russian Realism born from the Imperial Academy of Arts in 1863. Under the rule of Alexander II, Russia was struggling through a series of liberal reforms that were part of a greater humanitarian movement. The emancipation of the serfs in 1861 deconstructed much of the social and economic hierarchies that had defined tsarist Russia for centuries. Paralleling these social and political movements, progressive thinking took hold of the artistic world as well. The Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg fostered a conservative attitude that promoted neo-classical style, biblical and mythological subject matter, and the stringent divide between high and low art. The topic of the Academy’s annual Gold Medal painting competition in 1863 was “The Entrance of Odin into Valhalla.” Many students found the competition’s subject not only outdated and irrelevant, but also removed from the realities of Russia and her people. In dissent, 14 students left the Academy to form an independent Artists’ Cooperative Society.
art in Russia
Ivan Shishkin, known for his work as a landscape artist, portrayed not only the beauty of Russian nature, but also her heroic spirit. In his piece entitled Oak-wood (1887), the grandeur and power of the trees and countryside invoke a feeling of pride and awe. While foreign viewers might have little appreciation for such a harsh and sometimes bleak countryside, the Russians were reminded of the particular magnificence of their land and their connection to it. Russians have a unique connection to their homeland – one forged in the cruelest of seasons, through the cultivation of the earth. By consequence, from fairytales to ancient religion, the landscape has long held an important place within the Russian mind.