Shows all about human subjects

“In the Garden/ En el Jardin” by Romare Bearden, American 1914-1988, Color Lithograph, 1980, Gift of Daniel and Carolyn Klein, El Paso Museum of Art Collection

     (PNAN-TX) – The human figure has been an artist’s subject that has been mostly depicted throughout history. During the last half of the 20th century, when Cubism and Expressionism began, American, Mexican and European artists have shown them in many art forms, whether it be as a collage, including the styles of realism, Pop, social realism, Surrealism styles. On view through March 2011, at the El Paso Museum of Art (EMPA), “Transforming the Figure: Post WWII Prints,” is a show where the viewer will see that no style or technique is best and that each style has different levels of meaning to be used for different purposes.

     In this exhibition of post-WWII prints by artists such as, Romare Bearden, Arthur Bowen Davies, Ester Hernandez, Lester Johnson, Alice Neel, Pablo Picasso, Doel Reed, Ben Shahn and Rufino Tamayo, the works illustrate some of the various methods in which the figure can be presented, either in a representational or abstract style and how some of the innovative uses of distortion, foreshortening and coloration change the meaning of an artwork.

     Another exhibition, “The Holy Trinity/La Santisima Trinidad” is part of EPMA’s dedication to an ongoing rotation of the retablos in the collection, on view through April 2011. The artworks in this series examine the holy trinity from 18th and 19th century Mexico that reveals the ongoing development and understanding of the subject “three persons, one substance” that some scholars believe is foreshadowed in the Old Testament of the Bible.

“The Holy Trinity, 19th Century Oil on Tin” by Anonymous/Mexico, Gift of Dorrance and Olga Roderick, El Paso Museum of Art Collection

     The Holy Trinity, the union of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, has been a central doctrine of Christian theology, and in some cases the Holy Trinity is represented as three similarly clothed, male figures. In other cases, God the Father is represented as a grey-haired man, the son by a crucified young man and the Holy Spirit by a white dove. Variations of iconography and composition reflected the artist’s abilities, the patron’s taste and or the requirements of church doctrine.

     Founded in 1959, the El Paso Museum of Art is located at One Arts Festival Plaza in El Paso, Texas, in the center of downtown and blocks away from the U.S.-Mexico border, EPMA is the only accredited art museum within a 250-mile radius, within the world’s largest international border community with a population of over 2.6 million, serving as the major cultural and educational resource for West Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. With over 5,000 permanent works of art, over 100,000 visitors enjoy a diverse schedule of shows, films, lectures, concerts, and other educational programs. For more information, call 915.532.1707 or see

Published by on November 2010. Filed under Archives, Art-to-Art Marketplace Guide, At the Museums dept, PaletteBoards Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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