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28 Feb 2013

Double feature exhibition at Museo de Arte de Ponce

Jorge Diaz Torres (1974), City Rock, 2010, paper-maché, ceramic, plexiglass, urethane and spray paint.

The Art of the Empire: Three Centuries of British Art and Art in Response: Jorge Díaz Torres
Museo de Arte de Ponce


The exhibition The Art of the Empire: Three Centuries of British Art concludes on September 30th, 2013 and Art in Response: Jorge Díaz Torres ends on May 27th, 2013.
The museum is open Wednesday to Mondays from 10:00am to 5:30pm.
Admissions: Adults $6, children under 12, senior citizens and students with ID $3. Museum members and patrons enjoy free admission, except for special exhibitions.

Evelyn Martínez
1 (787) 840-1510
1(787) 841-7309

Museo de Arte de Ponce
2325 Boulevard Luis A. Ferré Aguayo
Ponce, Puerto Rico

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Museo de Arte de Ponce opens 2013 in a big way with a curated exhibition of British art entitled The Art of the Empire: Three Centuries of British Art alongside an installation of contemporary art titled Art in Response: Jorge Díaz Torres. This dual exhibition is not coincidental but rather reflects the Museum's institutional goals of catering to a wide range of interests and enabling audiences to have a common space to meet, discover new horizons, and begin new dialogues.

The Art of the Empire: Three Centuries of British Art

Open until September 30, 2013

The Art of the Empire: Three Centuries of British Art, composed of eighty-four works of art—paintings, sculptures, art on paper, drawings, and photograph, embraces a display of the museum's British Collection presented in a pioneering fashion.

This exhibition reflects the evolution and vitality of 300 years of British art, from the 18th century to present day, showing the faces of its society, the landscapes that enthralled it, and the vision of the Pre-Raphaelites, a group of indomitable young artists who would transform English art forever. In the 19th century, England was the proud head of a vast global empire. However, for British artists this was a period of identity crisis and self-exploration. The country praised for Shakespeare and Adam Smith was in the midst of the Industrial Revolution and yet to be acknowledged in the fine arts.

Arranged thematically and chronologically by curator Pablo Pérez d'Ors, this exhibition displays how 18th century British artists such as Thomas Gainsborough, Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, and Frederic Leighton dealt with the tension amongst an exploration of their roots and a fascination for what was considered exotic, while searching for their own voice and paying tribute to art from diverse epochs and places. 'This exhibition includes works from a historical period when England led a vast global empire on which the sun never set. Queen Victoria's word was law from the Caribbean all the way to India,' Pérez d'Ors explains. 'But there was a crisis in the arts, a quest for an identity. Artists were asking themselves: 'What is our voice?'.' Works from the second half of the 20th century are included in the exhibition, representing how British artists such as Gilbert & George, Damien Hirst and Chris Ofili were defying the reality of a world in the midst of radical changes.

Agustin Arteaga, director of the Museo de Arte de Ponce, notes that the exhibition The Art of the Empire: Three Centuries of British Art 'showcases the best of our collection with a new approach, allowing us to reintroduce our very finest selection and celebrate it with Puerto Rico.' The exposition applauds a legacy left to Puerto Rico: a British art collection that stands among the greatest in the world, compiled since the 1960's by Museo de Arte de Ponce's founder, Luis A. Ferré. Its 68 major works are shown together for the first time, along with an important loan of originals by William Morris, from the Casa del Libro in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This exhibit will show the solidity of a tradition that is always open to new trends, accompanied by rarely seen paintings, prints, and sculptures by Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Liam Gillick, Henry Moore, Raqib Shaw, and Mark Titchner, from private collections in Puerto Rico. 'We are fortunate that in Puerto Rico there are great contemporary British art collections,' Pérez d'Ors pointed out. 'We've brought in great figures from both the 20th century, displaying the initial stages of Abstract art in the United Kingdom, and the first years of the 21st century.'

The exhibition supplemented by a new publication titled 'The British Collection', the first volume of a series of catalogues with reference to the museum's collection. This catalogue developed in collaboration of experts from the Tate Britain gallery in England, who were able to work with the museum's collection when it travelled to London.

Art in Response: Jorge Díaz Torres

Open until May 27, 2013

Coordinated by associate curator María Arlette de la Serna, Art in Response is a program that invites contemporary artists to choose an art piece, or a period represented in the Museo de Arte de Ponce's European collection as inspiration for their composition, to serve as a counterpoint to the original work.

'With programs such as Art in Response, the Museo de Arte de Ponce functions as a forum for dialogue between traditional and contemporary creation. The first invited artist for this initiative, Luis Camnitzer, had a very successful exhibition. This time we've invited young Puerto Rican artist Jorge Díaz Torres, who's contemporary sculptures will immediately pique the public's curiosity and create a unique dialogue with the collection and the architecture of the museum itself, the Edward Durell Stone building,' explained María Arlette de la Serna.

The works by Díaz Torres reminds us of the experimental spirit of Marcel Duchamp, with key aspects such as the use of mundane materials and the exploration of the relation between art and life. His pieces reflect the overrated value placed on objects in a materialistic society, in harmony with Auguste Rodin's innovative practices (inspired by tradition, but rebellious in its idealized forms) and Duchamp's truly innovative artistic reevaluation of ordinary objects.

An essential part of the development of modern art is the evolution of sculpture that took place throughout the late 19th and early 20th century. In Art in Response, Díaz Torres portrays in his sculptures, urban elements outside their contexts. He repositions them in a controlled environment, thereby creating awareness of things that ordinarily go unnoticed. The artist also plays with the perception of reality and uses his sculptures to stimulate emotions and invite the spectator to look at objects in new ways.