NEW EXHIBITION "EL GRECO & MODERN PAINTING" OPENS AT MUSEO DEL PRADO
Tomorrow Tuesday 24 June, Madrid’s Museo del Prado inaugurates new exhibition El Greco and Modern Painting organised by the Museo del Prado and Acción Cultural Española (AC/E).
In conjunction with the 400th Anniversary of the death of El Greco, this will be the first exhibition to offer a comprehensive analysis of the artist’s influence on the development of painting in the 19th and 20th centuries.
A group of twenty-six works by El Greco, displayed alongside more than eighty modern paintings and drawings, will reveal how the artist’s influence first manifested itself in the forerunners of the avant-gardes then extended to Cubism, the Expressionist movements and even American painting.
Sponsored by Fundación BBVA, the exhibition will include more than one hundred works that reveal the artist’s decisive influence on the origins of modern painting. They include El Greco’s Laocoön and The Vision of Saint John, both loaned from the United States, Picasso’s Burial of Casagemas, and Cézanne’s version of El Greco’s Lady in an Ermine Wrap, which will be seen in Spain for the first time.
The layout of the exhibition will reveal the complexity and breadth of El Greco’s influence at a time of radical changes in art. It will start with a focus on the fascination that some of the most forward-looking French artists such as Manet and Cézanne felt for El Greco and the comparable interest manifested by leading Spanish painters including Ruisñol and Zuloaga.
The core of the exhibition will analyse the continuing influence that El Greco exercised on Picasso, the principal figure and creator of the various trends that revolutionised the arts in the 20th century. In addition, it will include the work of other artists whose relationship with Cubism led them to pursue different directions, such as André Derain, Robert Delaunay, Diego Rivera, Amedeo Modigliani, Chaïm Soutine and Marc Chagall.
The exhibition continues with El Greco as the reference point for the emergence and evolution of Expressionism among Central European artists such as Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele and the German painters August Macke and Max Beckmann, as well as for the new aesthetics related to Surrealism.
There will also be a focus on the particular importance of El Greco in relation to the rise of modern painting in America where the artist’s most expressive facets fascinated numerous painters, as evident in the works on display by José Clemente Orozco, Roberto Matta and in particular, Thomas Hart Benton and Jackson Pollock. Finally, visitors will be able to appreciate how El Greco’s innovations were frequently a reference point for the angst-ridden, expressive figuration of post-war European art, seen here in the work of Alberto Giacometti, Francis Bacon and Antonio Saura, some of whom produced overt homages to the artist.