Getty Villa Opens Modern Antiquity. Picasso, de Chirico, Leger, and Picabia in the Presence of the Antique

. November 4, 2011 . 0 Comments

The Getty Villa presents Modern Antiquity. Picasso, de Chirico, Leger, and Picabia in the Presence of the Antique, an exhibition on view November 2, 2011–January 16, 2012.

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881 – 1973), Studio with Plaster Head, Summer 1925. Oil on canvas. Unframed: 97.9 x 131.1 cm (38 9/16 x 51 5/8 in.). VEX.2011.2.25 © 2011 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Purchase, 1964. Digital Image © The Museum.

The alliance between the avant-garde and the antique constitutes an extraordinary episode in the history of European modernism. Modern Antiquity: Picasso, de Chirico, Léger, and Picabia in the Presence of the Antique, focuses on how four eminent artists reinvented and transformed antiquity between 1906 and 1936. Classicizing creations such as de Chirico’s enigmatic piazzas, Picasso’s post-cubist women, Léger’s mechanized nudes, and Picabia’s “transparencies” made the arts of antiquity modern. Following its showing at the Getty, the exhibition will be on view at the Musée Picasso, Antibes from February 16 to May 20, 2012.

Juxtaposing twentieth-century works with ancient objects, this major international loan exhibition features works by Pablo Picasso (1881–1973), Giorgio de Chirico (1888–1978), Fernand Léger (1881–1955), and Francis Picabia (1879–1953) alongside ancient art drawn primarily from the Getty’s collection—continuing a dialogue between the modern and the antique that remains vital today. The Getty Villa and its antiquities collection provide a unique setting for this conversation to unfold and Modern Antiquity allows the visitor to experience modern art in relation to the classical past.

Exploring three thematic categories—stories/myths, bodies/figures, and objects/fragments—the exhibition sets distinct stages for the juxtaposition of modern art and ancient objects. According to Jens Daehner, associate curator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum and co-curator of the exhibition, “The ancient works were chosen because they evoke some of the aesthetic qualities of antiquity to which modern artists responded. As these artists have transformed antiquity in the twentieth-century, modernism also influenced how viewers today perceive classical art.”

The Getty Villa is open Wednesday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed Tuesday and major holidays. Admission to the Getty Villa is always free. A ticket is required for admission. Tickets can be ordered in advance, or on the day of your visit, at or at (310) 440-7300. Parking is $15 per car, but free after 5pm for evening events. Groups of 15 or more must make reservations by phone. For more information, call 310-440-7300 (English or Spanish); 310-440-7305 (TTY line for the deaf or hearing impaired). The Getty Villa is at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, California. –

Category: Fine Art

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