Major Investigative Exhibition on Viceregal Latin American Art at Colnaghi


Colnaghi’s latest exhibition, Discovering Viceregal Latin American Treasures, is now open in gallery spaces in London and New York until September 10, 2021.

Assembled in collaboration with Jaime Eguiguren, the world’s foremost expert in viceregal art, the exhibition is a thoughtful collection of more than 100 works created in Latin America during the 17th and 18th centuries and reflecting the culture and the aesthetic of “New Spain” at the time.

Modern masterpieces and artifacts of historical significance from the pre-Columbian period are also on display, providing a broader context to the art created in the region and reflecting This summer, the Colnaghi Gallery presents a major study of the Latin American art from the viceroyal period, brought together in collaboration with Jaime Eguiguren, the world’s foremost expert in viceregal art.

Marking the first commercial exhibition of this scale ever organized, Discovering Viceregal Latin American Treasures brings together more than 100 paintings, sculptures, textiles and objects from the 17th to the 18th century, with a selection of pre-Columbian and modern masterpieces, reflecting the commitment of Colnaghi to support cross-category fundraising.

The exhibition will be presented simultaneously in the Colnaghi Galleries in London and New York, from July 2 to September 10, 2021. It will also be presented online as part of virtual reality tours starting in July, allowing audiences around the world whole to examine the works. in detail in both places.

When the Spaniards began to colonize Latin America in the early 16th century, art became a powerful tool for the Catholic Church. At first the sculptures and paintings were imported from Spain, but from the mid-16th century the Church set up guilds and workshops to form a local base of indigenous craftsmen. The works of Old Masters on display originate from these workshops, which created some of the most important artistic genres in Latin American art.

The exhibit also features historically significant examples of stone carvings, reliefs, and objects from the pre-Columbian period, encompassing art from the indigenous peoples of North, Central and South America and the Caribbean created before arrival. of the Spaniards and offering a sort of precedent for vice-regal work. Likewise, the modern and contemporary paintings by Spanish and Latin American artists on display extend the timeline to showcase the rich visual culture of today’s Spanish-speaking countries. The exhibition features works by Brazilian modernist Alfredo Volpi, Chilean abstract expressionist and surrealist Roberto Matta, and Spanish surrealist Oscar Dominguez, among other modern masters, many of whom defended their own pre-Hispanic heritage and local cultures through their work. Some studied in Europe and returned to Latin America during the first two decades of the twentieth century, advocating the creation of uniquely Latin American art.

“I am delighted to collaborate with Jaime Eguiguren on this global exhibition, which will not only be the very first large-scale exhibition of a viceregal art gallery, but will also be one of the largest investigations in art. Latin American through the ages, ”said Jorge Coll, Co-CEO of Colnaghi. “The vice-regal orientation responds to the growing market interest in unique and rare works of this era, following a recent major exhibition at the museum and notable sales made over the past year. With these wonderful displays in our galleries, we are delighted to present those who are not familiar. with the art of this region to something very original. ”

Co-CEO Victoria Golembiovskaya added: “Colnaghi is one of the few shopping malls exhibiting works from ancient times to the modern era. This exhibition creates exciting opportunities for a new discourse and for cross-collecting, offering collectors, art lovers and academics a rare opportunity to learn more not only about the Viceroyal period, but also about the art that has emanated from the region over the centuries. “

Highlights of the ancient period exhibit include a serene wrestler from Jalisco from the proto-classical period (c. 100 BC-250 AD). Jalisco is one of the western states of Mexico (Colima-Nayarit-Jalisco) and its sculpture is known for its hieratic style with stiff postures and fixed eyes. This figure is a classic image of the ideal Jalisco male.

Within the Old Masters group, highlights include works from the Escuela Quiteña (Quito Art School), which is considered one of the most influential art schools in Latin America. A sculpture of the Archangel Michael defeating the devil (circa 1750) illustrates the style and unique characteristics of this important artistic period.

An important piece both in terms of material and artistic technique is the exquisite pair of portraits in oil and mother-of-pearl depicting Saint Martin on horseback and Saint Joseph and the Child Jesus, Mexico (circa 1690) by Juan and Miguel González. Hailing from Mexico City, the González artists were celebrated at the time as “makie and encrusted painters” because of their masterful use of mother-of-pearl, and their portraits in this exhibition embody this stupendous technique.

Another highlight of the exhibition is the beautiful oil on copper Portrait of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz at the age of 25 by an anonymous artist. Its rich colors represent the face of a young woman gazing out from under a dark headdress, gently holding an icon of the Virgin Mary. This unpublished portrait is the only known surviving work of the poet Sor Juana during her lifetime. This painting is probably the piece to which much research and theories on Sor Juana have alluded in the search for the true face of this most famous representative of the new Spanish literature.

In the presentation of the exhibition of modern and contemporary pieces is a masterpiece by the Spanish surrealist Oscar Dominguez, Les Deux Voyantes (1945). The painting shows two clairvoyants examining a crystal ball against an intense blue webbed background, apparently oblivious to the viewer. The polygonal strap narrows the space between the figures, themselves composed of geometric shapes, and the dramatic blue background patchwork, creating a juxtaposition and illogicality characteristic of post-war surrealism.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a comprehensive illustrated catalog as well as an online viewing room, allowing an international audience to explore the works on display.


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