Published: May 13, 2003
PASADENA, CALIF. – The exhibition “Artistic Exchange: Works by Mexican and Californian Artists,” on view at the Norton Simon Museum to September 8, presents approximately 20 paintings, works on paper and photographs by prominent Twentieth Century artists associated with Mexico and California.
Mexican artists represented include Diego Rivera (1886-1957), Manual Alvarez Bravo (1902-2002), Alfred Ramos Martinez (1902-2002) and Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991). California artists featured include Millard Sheets (1907-1989), Edward Weston (1886-1958), Leo Katz (1887-1940) and Maxine Albro (1903-1966). This assemblage complements the major exhibition, “From Europe to California: Galka Scheyer and the Avant-Garde,” currently on view to September 8.
All of the works presented in the exhibition reflect the cultural exchange and travel between Mexico and California that flourished during the first half of the Twentieth Century. Artists included in “Artistic Exchange” worked to establish themselves in either locale while mutually benefiting from the culture and landscape their selected location offered. Subjects and styles that characterized both groups of artists’ work include pictorial depictions of the working class, natural landscapes and an interest in abstraction.
Exhibition highlights include works by two of Mexico’s most significant muralists: “The Flower Vendor (Girl with Lilies),” 1941, by Diego Rivera, and Alfredo Ramos Martinez’s ink and charcoal on paper “Men Without Liberty,” no date.
Also on display are three works by Rufino Tamayo, known for his use of color and vivid expressions of reality, and nine photographs by Manuel Alvarez Bravo, including “Ancient Crypt of Rouen,” 1960.
California artists (including Edward Weston and Millard Sheets) also figure prominently in the exhibition. Two photographs by Weston in the exhibit provide examples of the subjects that interested him during his travels through Mexico. “Women of Guatemala” by Millard Sheets demonstrates a similar preoccupation. Both artists found inspiration in the styles, practices and locale of the artists responsible for the Mexican Renaissance.
The museum is on the corner of Orange Grove and Colorado Boulevards, and is open every day except Tuesday, from noon to 6 pm and noon to 9 pm on Friday. Admission is $6. For information, 626-449-6840, or nortonsimon.org.
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