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El Paso Museum of Art
Current Exhibitions

VANISHING ICE: Alpine and Polar Landscapes in Art, 1775-2012
June 1, 2014  – August 24, 2014
Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Gallery
 
Len Jenshel (American b. 1949) 
Narsaq Sound, Greenland, 2001
 C-print, 26 x 30 in.  
Courtesy of the artist and Joseph Bellows Gallery, La Jolla, CA
 
The EPMA’s major summer ticketed exhibition is Vanishing Ice: Alpine and Polar Landscapes in Art, 1775–2012, curated by Barbara Matilsky of the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Washington, where the exhibition premiered. Following its presentation in El Paso, Vanishing Ice will tour internationally to appear at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario. The Whatcom also created a website for the exhibition: www.vanishing-ice.org.
 
Combining international work in a variety of media by historical artists such as Ansel Adams, Thomas Hart Benton, Albert Bierstadt, and Gustave Doré and contemporary creators such as Olaf Otto Becker, Jean de Pomereu, Alexis Rockman, and Spencer Tunick, Vanishing Ice considers this diverse and stunning landscape imagery within the context of global warming. The exhibition traces the emerging popularity of alpine and polar landscapes in the eighteenth century, and their evolving meanings through time—for instance, as records of previously uncharted realms and geologic history or as exceptional expressions of the Romantic sublime or the cosmic and spiritual in nature. We also learn notable parallels between the original artist-naturalist-explorers who traveled to icy regions in association with government-or business-sponsored research or commercial voyages, and many contemporary artists who collaborate closely with scientists and writers to investigate and call attention to the fragility and fate of these areas under climate change.
 
In addition to presenting great art and enriching our knowledge of climate history and issues, Vanishing Ice offers local audiences exposure to unfamiliar topography very different from the Chihuahuan Desert—as well as the chance to beat the heat this Summer in El Paso! And finally, the Nepalese-born American artist Jyoti Duwadi will create a large ice installation outside the museum for the opening reception; Duwadi’s melting work references the beauty, grandeur, and fragility of ice in this contemporary age of unprecedented global warming.
 
Special Exhibition Ticketing
Non-member adults age 13+ $5
EPMA member adults, children age 12 and under     FREE
Active Military personnel and their family with ID FREE
 
 
Vanishing Ice: Alpine and Polar Landscapes in Art 1775 – 2012 was organized by the Whatcom Museum. Major funding has been provided by The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support from the Norcliffe Foundation, the Washington State Arts Commission, the City of Bellingham,  and furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund.
 

 
Water, Water Everywhere: Paean to a Vanishing Resource
                                                  June 1, 2014 – August 24, 2014                                                             
Peter and Margaret de Wetter Gallery
 
Photo by Shireen Malik, 2011
 
Water is the world’s most crucial commodity and basis for all life on earth; its preservation and protection thus present one of our greatest environmental challenges. Continuing the long and noble tradition of art as cultural and political critique, Water Water Everywhere: Paean to a Vanishing Resource is an exhibition of video work examining water issues, the films being looped together and projected in the EPMA’s Peter and Margaret de Wetter Gallery. Intended to complement the larger Summer exhibition Vanishing Ice, this show features works that range in duration from less than a minute to half an hour. The films move in approach from artistic to documentary, and the international array of artists represented explore water from personal, social, and political perspectives. The works are experimental, educational, humorous, solemn, animated, or acted. Water Water Everywhere was curated by Jennifer Heath and organized by Baksun Arts & Books in Boulder, Colorado.
 

 
Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Francis of Paola
 May 11, 2014  – November 2, 2014
Dorrance and Olga Roderick Gallery: Retablo Niche 
 
Anonymous (Mexico, 19th Century)
Saint Francis of Paola, 19th Century
Oil on tin, 14” x 10”
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Dorrance D. Roderick
Collection of El Paso Museum of Art
 
The latest in the series of themed exhibitions from the Museum’s growing collection of retablos is Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Francis of Paola.  The retablos of these two saints are being shown together not only because of their shared name and religious order, but also because their depiction had much in common as did their mutual concern for all living creatures.
 
In Mexican retablos, Saint Francis of Assisi (1181-1226), the founder of the Franciscan order, is represented as a young man in typical Franciscan attire often in an outdoor setting.  Saint Francis of Paola (1416-1507), named after Saint Francis of Assisi, was the founder of the Foundation of Hermits of Saint Francis of Assisi. In contrast to Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Francis of Paola is usually shown in Mexican retablos as an older man with the hood of his robe up and a staff in one hand. Both have been frequently portrayed throughout Mexican devotional art of the 19th century, although here only three show Saint Francis of Assisi, fifteen Saint Francis of Paola.  Interestingly, one retablo, 2007.5.20, presents Saint Francis of Paola in the typical manner for this saint; however in this case he is also shown holding a crucifix, one of the attributes of Saint Francis of Assisi.
 
Today Saint Francis of Assisi is considered the saint of environmentalism and animals. Saint Francis of Paola is known as the saint of vegans, of sailors and of young girls looking for a husband. Although the retablos in this exhibition vary in style, size, and specific details, they all illustrate the strong influence of Franciscan evangelization in New Spain.
 

 
No Subtitles Required: The Art of the International Film Poster
July 13, 2014  – August 31, 2014
Dede Rogers Special Events Gallery
 
 Presented by the El Paso Museum of Art and the El Paso Community Foundation
in conjunction with the Plaza Classic Film Festival
 

Harakiri, 1962
Directed by Masaki Kobayashi
Italian poster designed by A. Criello 1963
 
Cul-de-sac, 1966
Directed by Roman Polanski
British poster designed by Lemica
 
On the Waterfront, 1954
Directed by Elia Kazan
Italian Poster designed by Luigi Martinati 1960
 
Cinema exists at the intersection of art, design and commerce.  In the era before tight brand and image control, movie poster design offered the opportunity to market foreign films in a more culturally familiar way, or to express artistic creativity.  More than other visual art forms, movies provided the ability to present the same “artwork” to a global audience, but the way in which they were marketed varied by country and culture.  Each of these posters represents artwork for a film which would have been “foreign” to the culture in which the poster was created.   They provide a window into the global exportation of films and their cultural translation from one country (and continent) to another.  
 
Created between the years 1952 and 1984, the posters in this exhibition represent works from twelve different countries and a wide range of genres: from pop musicals to Samurai films, from dramas to science fiction, even westerns.  The posters reveal the range and ability of some important international artists and graphic designers, and were selected for their artistic, cultural and historical significance from the collection of Charles and Ann Horak.
 
Showcasing a diverse range of films from leading international directors such as Francis Ford Coppola, Federico Fellini, Alfred Hitchcock, Elia Kazan, Stanley Kubrick, Akira Kurosawa, Roman Polanski, and Orson Welles, this exhibition is a visual expression of the worldwide popularity and portability of cinema.   Although these films may have required subtitles or vocal dubbing when shown in foreign film markets, their poster designs can be appreciated on their own artistic merits, without translation.
 
 
 

 

 

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