1) Lorenzo Lotto: Portraits | Museo Nacional del Prado In the first ever major exhibition of his portraiture, Italian master painter Lorenzo Lotto, is being presented at the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain. Recent surveys of Lotto's paintings have continued to discuss the radical psychological focus of his portraits. In 1895, Bernard Benson released the essay Lorenzo Lotto: An Essay in Constructive Criticism, which analyzed Lotto's works in conjunction with Freudian psychoanalysis, revealing him to be one of the first painters to present his sitter's state of mind. Often overlooked in lieu of other Italian masters at that time including Tintoretto and Pontormo, Lotto is now considered a great reflection of Italy during this time period. Through symbolism and typology, Lotto unveiled depth concerning status, interests and aspirations, and the emotions of his sitters, and in an even larger sense, the national quality of Italy in a great period of change.
Lorenzo Lotto, Micer Marsilio Cassotti and his Wife Faustina, 1523. Courtesy of Museo del Prado.
Lee Miller, Nude Bent Forward (thought to be Noma Rathner), c1930. Courtesy of Hepworth Wakefield.
2) Lee Miller and Surrealism in Britain | The Hepworth Wakefield A true look into a fascinating movement, photographer and avant-garde experimentalist, Lee Miller, was an insider of the Surrealism movement in Britain during the 1930s. A student of Man Ray and wife to Roland Penrose, Miller spent the '30s surrounded by and promoting artists of Surrealism. Miller and Penrose hosted multiple Surrealist salons dedicated to the sales and advancement of the movement. This exhibition itself showcases the creative collaborations of artists that Miller knew, worked alongside, and exhibited with. Featuring some 60 images; candid shots of friends, but also documentations of war and poverty, the exhibition also presents sculptures, paintings and collages done by Surrealists of the time including Max Ernst, Salvador Dalí, Eileen Agar and René Magritte. For an art movement that was steeped in the radical and the weird, Miller's lens shows the reality of the movement and the integral players who led its success.
3) Pacha, Llaqta, Wasichay: Indigenious Space, Modern Architecture, New Art | Whitney Museum of American Art A group exhibition featuring seven Latinx artists based in the United States and Puerto Rico, investigate the relationship and historical foundation between indigenous notions of land and space, and contemporary design and construction. The three words in the exhibition title are Quechua, the most readily spoken Indigenous language in the Americas. Pacha, translates to universe, world, nature, time or space; llaqta denotes community, town, or place, and wasichay signifies to build or construct a home. Defined through these words, each artist presents work rooted within a conceptual framework that showcases the historical, yet social significance of land and space in their Indigenous cultures in comparison, and in relation to, contemporary ideals. Rich in history and time, the presentations focus on an America that once was and how that has shaped what it is today.
Ronny Quevedo, quipu, 2017. Courtesy of Whitney Museum of American Art.
Sanford Biggers, Floral Seated Warriors, 2017. Courtesy of Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.
4) Sanford Biggers | Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis With a distinct emphasis on religion and a direct association with history, Harlem-based artist Sanford Biggers works in multiple mediums exploring appropriation and the literal recasting of symbolism. Biggers creates a dialogue surrounding historical trauma, and specifically that of violence against African Americans. While utilizing found objects such as African wooden sculptures and woven quilts, Biggers reconfigures their physical form to convey a conversation about their symbolic one; namely their historical or religious significance. Biggers's focus on these narratives allows the objects to transcend time to one of contemporary imagery and meaning, providing a rich visual and a critical discourse.
5) Sense of Humor | National Gallery of Art An incredibly overlooked genre in art, comedy, is rarely made and rarely displayed. Generally seen throughout history in prints and drawings, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. has compiled pieces from their personal collection showcasing a unique selection. The exhibition spans centuries, from Renaissance caricatures, English satires from the 19th century, and 20th century comics, and includes artists from all over the world such as Peter Brueghel the Elder, Francisco de Goya, Red Grooms and the Guerilla Girls. A telling exhibition that provides a glimpse into relevant history, and the universal human condition; humor.
Rembrandt van Rijn, Self Portrait in a Cap: Laughing, 1630. Courtesy of National Gallery of Art.