Ilona Katzew, Curator of Latin American Art, Talks about _Pinxit Mexici_ and Building the Collection _ Unframed.pdf

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Ilona Katzew, Curator of Latin American Art, Talks about _Pinxit Mexici_ and Building the Collection _ Unframed.pdf
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  10/29/2018Ilona Katzew, Curator of Latin American Art, Talks about "Pinxit Mexici" and Building the Collection | Unframedhttps://unframed.lacma.org/2017/06/19/ilona-katzew-curator-latin-american-art-talks-about-pinxit-mexici-and-building-collection1/16 Unframed is supported in part by LACMA's Director's Circle. Ilona Katzew during the recent reinstallation of the Latin American art galleries, photo courtesy Rachel Kaplan Ilona Katzew, Curator of LatinAmerican Art, Talks about "PinxitMexici" and Building the Collection October 29, 2018  10/29/2018Ilona Katzew, Curator of Latin American Art, Talks about "Pinxit Mexici" and Building the Collection | Unframedhttps://unframed.lacma.org/2017/06/19/ilona-katzew-curator-latin-american-art-talks-about-pinxit-mexici-and-building-collection2/16 Unframed   is taking a look behind the scenes to profile the dedicated and creative people who makeLACMA special. We sat down with curator and head of the Latin American Art department Ilona Katzew totalk about her upcoming exhibition Painted in Mexico, 1700–1790: Pinxit Mexici  , how paintings havetheir own histories, discovering a viceroy under layers of pink paint, and skipping school on a clandestinebike. Since arriving at LACMA in 2000 as our first curator of Latin American art, you havebolstered the collection with numerous acquisitions and organized major exhibitions ofLatin American art. You’re currently working on a new show, which opens in June atFomento Cultural Banamex in Mexico City (our co-organizing institution), before coming toLACMA in November and ending its tour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.Can you tell us a little bit about the latest exhibition? The exhibition I’m working on is Painted in Mexico, 1700–1790: Pinxit Mexici  , which is devoted to 18th-century Mexican (or New Spanish) painting, a period that I find particularly rich artistically andhistorically, but which is not so well known. In many ways, organizing this exhibition is coming full circlefor me, as I’ve been looking at and thinking about this material over the last 20 years. June 19, 2017 Chi-Young Kim Latin American art   10/29/2018Ilona Katzew, Curator of Latin American Art, Talks about "Pinxit Mexici" and Building the Collection | Unframedhttps://unframed.lacma.org/2017/06/19/ilona-katzew-curator-latin-american-art-talks-about-pinxit-mexici-and-building-collection3/16   Juan Rodríguez Juárez,  Apotheosis of the Eucharist    (Apoteosis de la Sagrada Forma) , 1723,Editorial Buena Prensa, Mexico City, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA by Rafael Doniz, one ofthe works that will be included in Painted in Mexico, 1700–1790: Pinxit Mexici  Why do you think this area has not received its due attention? Spanish colonial art, especially painting, has often been compared to European art in qualitative terms.For a long time there was this notion that Mexican painting was essentially a byproduct of Europeanartistic traditions. In addition, the generalized criticism of the Baroque and Rococo coming from Europe inthe 19th century also impacted the perception of 18th-century Mexican art. The 18th century was oftendescribed as a period of “decadence,” as overly sweet and somewhat languid, especially when comparedto the 17th century, a period that has received more scholarly attention.In the past 10 to 15 years, however, there has been a significant shift in the appreciation of the field, andmore and more scholars have taken an interest in the material. But the wealth of images is justextraordinary, and truthfully we’re only beginning to make more serious inroads. It must be exciting to look at and understand this era in a different way.  10/29/2018Ilona Katzew, Curator of Latin American Art, Talks about "Pinxit Mexici" and Building the Collection | Unframedhttps://unframed.lacma.org/2017/06/19/ilona-katzew-curator-latin-american-art-talks-about-pinxit-mexici-and-building-collection4/16 Yes, this has been a highly rewarding journey. Of course, scholars in Mexico have done really wonderfulwork in this area, and I have huge admiration for my colleagues there: many are not only out in the fieldstudying this material but also making concerted efforts to restore and preserve it, which is extremelyimportant. But it’s true that internationally the field hasn’t received the attention it deserves and that it’snot always seen as part of global art history. One of our hopes in organizing this exhibition is to open up avista to the extraordinary legacy of this period and get people intrigued and excited, and also tounderstand the deeper connections of 18th-century Mexican art with larger transatlantic trends; that is,how it was part of the larger internationalization of art. What was the genesis of this exhibition? It’s an idea that I had been contemplating since 2004 when I published my book on casta painting, andrealized how challenging it was to find information about the painters or even get a sense of their body ofwork. A few years later I was invited to write a book chapter on 18th-century Mexican painting and was just aghast at the wealth of material and how little, proportionally, I was able to get into the chapter. Ithought, “Why not explode the theme into a bigger exhibition and book?” This was around 2010. I thencalled on three friends and colleagues of Mexico and Spain who are leading voices in the field—JaimeCuadriello, Paula Mues Orts, and Luisa Elena Alcalá—and asked if they’d be interested in joining forces.  10/29/2018Ilona Katzew, Curator of Latin American Art, Talks about "Pinxit Mexici" and Building the Collection | Unframedhttps://unframed.lacma.org/2017/06/19/ilona-katzew-curator-latin-american-art-talks-about-pinxit-mexici-and-building-collection5/16  
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