Classical Dispatches from the Riotous Baroque

Opening at the Guggenheim Bilbao next week is the exhibition Riotous Baroque: from Cattelan to Zurbarán – Tributes to Precarious Reality curated by Bice Curiger and arriving from a run at the Kunsthaus Zürich. The exhibition, according to the press release on the Guggenheim website (see here for the full, very illuminating, text: http://prensa.guggenheim-bilbao.es/src/uploads/2013/06/Dossier-Barroco_EN.pdf) aims to initiate a ‘dialogue between 17th century artworks and contemporary pieces in an attempt to extricate the concept of the Baroque from its conventional stylistic pigeonhole.’

Nicolas Poussin, Satyrs Taking Sleeping Venus by Surprise, ca. 1625 (detail). Oil on canvas, 77 × 100 cm. Photo © Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland

As I am currently in Bilbao for the month of June and first week in July, I shall be posting a series of responses to the exhibition that focus on how Classical myth, literature and culture are caught-up in the dynamic between the Baroque and the Contemporary and especially how this kind of exhibition can offer a productive, novel and irreverent model by which the dynamic between Classical Antiquity and Contemporary Art can be explored and understood.

Urs Fischer Noisette, 2009 Collection of Anne Faggionato, Monaco © Urs Fischer

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