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"Woman. Metamorphosis of Modernity"
2004-11-26 until 2005-02-06
Joan Miro Foundation
Barcelona, , ES

The Joan Miró Foundation will be presenting “Woman. Metamorphosis of modernity”, an exhibition curated by Gladys Fabre and sponsored by the BBVA. It contains over 200 paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs produced between the late 1920s and the 1970s by some twenty artists of international renown. The starting point of the exhibition is the early 1930s, a time of change in the general behaviour of women and in artistic processes, with the result that the act of creating became more and more the incarnation of the artist’s desires. The most noticeable difference was the gradual incorporation of the theme of the muse-woman, which took over from the conceptual still-life, the machine, the automaton and the object, forcing a change of style that liberated modernity.

The list of artists comprises Tarsila do Amaral, Gertrude Arndt, Jean Arp/Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Georges Braque, Louise Bourgeois, Marianne Breslauer, Claude Cahun, Imogen Cunningham, Marcel Duchamp, Valie Export, Emmanuel Goundouin, Lotte Jacobi, Yves Klein, Germaine Krull, Yayoi Kusama, Gaston Lachaise, Wifredo Lam, Henri Laurens, Le Corbusier, Fernand Léger, André Masson, Maria Martins, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Lucia Moholy, Charlotte Moorman/Nam June Paik, Georgia O’Keeffe, Orlan, Amedée Ozenfant, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, Niki de Saint Phalle, Sanyu, Carolee Scheemann, Ré Soupault and Ossip Zadkine.

The exhibition contains works by male and female artists with very different approaches. While the former deal with “otherness”, the latter concentrate on identity. These visions are the basis for the sections into which the show is divided.

Starting with the vision of woman as seen by other women, we continue with the male approach, based on the recovery of curved forms, of woman as archetype (mother-earth) or the association of the act of creation with an act of love, sensuality and voluptuousness.

The following sections focus on the experiments by artists in the 1960s, when they began on a path that led them away from painting and into interdisciplinary art forms, showing how a different sensibility needs other materials.

Through this overview of fifty years of change, the exhibition will attempt to find an answer to why and how the representation of woman has been a key element in the metamorphosis of modernity, as idea on the one hand and as artistic expression on the other hand.

Yayoi Kusama with "Love Forever" buttons,
which she distributed at the opening of Kusama's Peep Show,
a mirror-lined environmental installation at Castellane Gallery. New York, 1966.
Photograph by Hal Reiff.

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