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Francisco de Goya, Disparate punctual (Una Reina dal circo)

Francisco de Goya, Disparate punctual (Una Reina dal circo) from the series Los Disparates (c. 1816), etching and aquatint [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR Oct 11-Jan 4] Portland Art Museum, The Vivian and Gordon Gilkey Graphic Arts Collection

Making Merry:
The Circus and Carnival in Graphic Art

Portland Art Museum
Portland OR – Oct 11, 2008 – Jan 4, 2009

Manuel Izquierdo, Titiriteros

Manuel Izquierdo, Titiriteros (1952), woodcut [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR Oct 11-Jan 4] Portland Art Museum, Gift of James Haseltine, Manuel Izquierdo

Making Merry: The Circus and Carnival in Graphic Art traces the development of festivals, masquerades, street theatre and the modern circus, which was first held in London in 1770. The exhibit of poignant prints and drawings includes work by artists dating from the 17th century to current times: from Goya, Picasso, Chagall, and Max Beckmann to contemporary Northwest artists such as Manuel Izquierdo and George Johanson.

The earliest pieces in this exhibit, Jacques Callot's series Balli di Sfessania from the 1620s, capture the gestures and costumes of dances by Italian improvisational acting troops, whose performances were in the genre of Commedia dell'Arte. British artist William Hogarth depicts a satirical disarray of street fairs in Southwark Fair (1733) in all of its chaos and collapse. Georges Rouault's series of colour aquatints in his bold gestural style, includes characters like The Little Horse Woman and a melancholy clown who symbolize the human struggle. Black and white traditional etchings, drypoints and lithographs dominate the exhibit.

Styles and approaches include everything from festive images of acrobats, harlequins and merry-go-rounds, to sombre behind-thescenes impressions of life in circus tents and dressings rooms. Most overtly, Sue Coe's recent piece, She Escaped the Circus and was Shot 98 Times (2007), exposes the unjust treatment of circus animals by referring to elephant Tyke who escaped a circus in Hawaii after crushing a trainer and who was shot in the streets of Kakaako by local police.

www.pam.org

Allyn Cantor

John Steuart Curry, Missed Leap

John Steuart Curry, Missed Leap (1934), lithograph [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR Oct 11-Jan 4]
Portland Art Museum, Bequest of Charles Henry Leavitt

 Wed, Nov 19, 2008