Goya’s Prints: The Dawn of Modern Art


Goya’s Prints: The Dawn of Modern Art

November 28, 2009
March 07, 2010

About the Exhibition

November 28, 2009 – March 7, 2010

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes
Well-Known Folly, from Los Proverbios, ca. 1816–24
Etching and burnished aquatint
Jack S. Blanton Curatorial Endowment Fund, 2007

The Blanton possesses some thirty of Goya’s prints, with several impressions from each of his major series. They include great rarities, like El Embozado, which was left unfinished at his death, and a number of recent acquisitions, like a brilliant proof impression from Los Proverbios.

Printmaking was not just one of Goya’s principal activities. The subjects of his celebrated Caprichos were inspired by popular imagery, sayings and concerns that had never before reached the level of “high” art. In the Tauromaquia, bullfights became a pretext for upending traditional formal values, and later, a touchstone for artists from Manet to Picasso. His Disasters of War stripped any veneer or comfort from the typical heroic renderings of historical events. His late works plumbed the imagination beyond rational limit, predicting Symbolism and Surrealism. In many senses, and more than his paintings, Goya’s prints represent the dawn of modern art. A chance to reckon with Goya’s singular genius, this exhibition presents these prints as a group for the first time at The Blanton.

Goya is further explored in The Sleep of Reason: Goya’s Influence in Spanish America, an exhibition of works on paper by José Luis Cuevas, Ernesto Diera, Armando Morales, and Augusto Rendón, among others. Goya’s stark style and unflinching approach to reality provided a model for these artists wishing to convey the darker aspects of modern life.

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