Spanish Artist Francisco Goya’s Etchings Coming to the Ringling Museum
Sept. 29, 2007 - Jan. 6, 2008
Sarasota, FL—July 30, 2007 – Francisco Goya: Los Caprichos, a ground-breaking suite of eighty quaint etchings by the Spanish artist, will be on exhibit at the Ringling Museum of Art, Sept. 29-Jan. 6, 2007.
“Goya was one of the first artists to produce art that combined his own experiences and perspective on society with the pictorial and symbolic tools of fantasy and the imagination,” says Dr. Stephen Borys, Ulla R. Searing Curator of Collections at the Ringling. “This exhibition of his famous Los Caprichos prints, which were produced in 1799 at the height of the Enlightenment, is an exciting complement to the contemporary show, Cuba Avant-Garde, on view at the same time, as both offer powerful social and political commentaries on artmaking and society.”
Francisco Goya: Los Caprichos exhibition consists of a complete first edition of Goya’s Los Caprichos suite, along with examples of the artist’s earliest etchings, including works from his other graphic series: Los Desastres de la Guerra, Los Proverbios, and La Tauromaquia. Additionally, two other works inspired by Goya’s famous prints, a drawing by Edward Hagedorn from 1951 and eight etchings by Enrique Chagoya from 1999, are included in the exhibition.
Goya began his career working as a commissioned court painter to Charles IV in 1789. After a mysterious illness, which left him deaf, Goya’s outlook on life reveals a marked disdain for the social, cultural, religious and courtly world in which he lived. Seeking to make a statement through his art, Goya began a new way of looking at reality—one not easily separated from fantasy and the imagination.
Los Caprichos is the first series of etchings that move away from commissioned paintings typical of the era towards a more informal style with greater freedom to mix reality with imagination. This, coupled with his satirical depiction of 18th-century Spanish society, positions Goya as a precursor to the modern art movement almost a century later.
The series presents a satirical social commentary of Spain at the end of the eighteenth century. Themes concerning social injustices including corruption in the church and nobility, greed, and the frivolity of young women are apparent throughout the etchings. The cast of characters range from prostitutes and monks to goblins and animals acting like human fools.
The exhibition is organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, Calf., in association with Denenberg Fine Arts, West Hollywood, Calf. Landau Traveling Exhibitions, since 1967, has presented more that 500 fine art and architecture exhibitions at museums and university galleries throughout the world.
This exhibition is funded, in part, by the Sarasota County Arts Council, the Tourist Development Council, and the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners.