Elisabetta Zangrandi's New Exhibition 'Musée Imaginaire' is Coming to Keyes Art Gallery | Latest Buzz | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

Elisabetta Zangrandi’s New Exhibition ‘Musée Imaginaire’ is Coming to Keyes Art Gallery

Curated by Alison M. Gingeras

Elisabetta Zangrandi's New Exhibition 'Musée Imaginaire' is Coming to Keyes Art Gallery | Latest Buzz | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS
Elisabetta Zangrandi. Musée Imaginaire
Keyes Art
45 Main Street
Sag Harbor, New York
May 11 – June 26, 2024

In exciting news for art lovers, Keyes Art Gallery is bringing a new exhibition to their Gallery dedicated to Elisabetta Zangrandi titled Musée Imaginaire.

Working in dialog with curator and art historian Alison Gingeras, who shared her research into the question of the self-representation of artist-women since the 16th century, Zangrandi was inspired to create fifteen canvases that revisit iconic modes of artists staging themselves at work. Artist-women first pioneered the very genre of artists portraying themselves with a palette in the 16th century—the Flemish painter Catherina van Hemessen created the first known “palette portrait” in 1548. More than self-portraits, these canvases were assertions of professional identity. Each painting is a manifesto of the artist’s legitimacy as well as an emblem of her unique ability to embody major shifts in women’s contribution to art history over the centuries.

The works in Elisabetta Zangrandi’s Musée Imaginaire are no mere copies of paintings. Each is rendered in her deceptively fanciful style, simultaneously referring to the original composition and making each portrait part of her own aesthetic project. The backgrounds of many of the paintings on view reflect tropes that frequently appear in Zangrandi’s other works—flora, fauna, mythological creatures, and swirling motifs that fill entire picture planes. Taken as a whole, the works in this exhibition affirm the importance of recognizing the continuity of artist-women throughout the centuries, doing justice to those female pioneers who often struggled to practice their art and claim their place in the larger dialogue within art history.

Thus, Elisabetta Zangrandi’s Musée Imaginaire is a poignant response to the observations recorded in the diary of early 20th century painter Paula Modersohn Becker, who wrote, “I feel that the time is soon coming when I no longer have to be ashamed and remain silent, but when I feel with pride that I am a painter.”

Elisabetta Zangrandi's New Exhibition 'Musée Imaginaire' is Coming to Keyes Art Gallery | Latest Buzz | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

In her distinctive figurative style, Zangrandi has reinterpreted an array of female artists’ self-portraits, transforming these art historical icons into her own personal canon of predecessors—and Keyes Art Gallery into an alternative feminist museum. The earliest work referenced is by the 12th century German monastic Guda of the Weissfauen Convent, who included her own likeness in an illuminated manuscript; her image is believed to be the earliest signed self-portrait by a woman in Western Europe. Among other highlights of the exhibition are Zangrandi’s homages to the 17th century Baroque prodigy Artemisia Gentileschi (whose allegorical depiction of herself as the personification of painting has become a posthumous landmark of Old Mistress painting) and such 20th century trailblazers as Alice Neel and Frida Kahlo.

With this pantheon of artists, Zangrandi reflects upon the vitality and continuity of women painters throughout recorded visual culture—and claims her own place within this genealogy of feminist art history.

Will be checking out this exhibition?

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