Symposium: Perspectives on Modernism in Mexico

Saturday, March 26 / 2-5pm

Ellen Roberts, the Harold and Anne Berkley Smith Senior Curator of American Art, hosts this symposium featuring scholars who address artists represented in the special exhibition Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection who explored social and political change in Mexico after the Revolution. The symposium features Esther Gabara, E. Blake Byrne Associate Professor of Romance Studies and Associate Professor in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University, James Oles, Senior Lecturer in the Art Department at Wellesley College and adjunct curator of Latin American art at the Davis Museum, and Dafne Cruz Porchini, researcher and Professor at Instituto de Investigaciones Esteticas at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM).

Museum Admission / Members Free

This symposium, originally scheduled for January 2022, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are glad to bring this program to you this Saturday, but we remind you that the special exhibition has closed.

Schedule of Events

  • Welcome + Introductory Remarks / Glenn Tomlinson and Ellen Roberts

    2pm
  • Speaker / Dafne Cruz Porchini

    Dafne Cruz Porchini, researcher and Professor at Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

    Femininity and Mexicanidad in the Painting of María Izquierdo

    For several decades, the painter María Izquierdo (1902–1955) has been overshadowed by other artists of her generation, including the now-famous Frida Kahlo, or the painter Rufino Tamayo with whom Izquierdo had a close personal relationship. Scholars of Mexican art began reevaluating Izquierdo’s work some thirty years ago and have promoted different perspectives based on the distinct phases of her production, from her circus scenes, to still lifes, to her nationalist portraits. In this talk, Porchini will concentrate on Izquierdo’s small format works, which functioned as visual metaphors and favored formalism and artistic individuality. These oils, gouaches, and watercolors show Izquierdo’s personal interest in representing everyday life and popular nature. They will be contrasted with the nationalist subjects that later characterized Izquierdo’s work, where the oscillation between tradition and modernity was used to frame the cultural and artistic production of post-revolutionary Mexico.

    2:40pm
  • Speaker / Esther Gabara

    Esther Gabara, E. Blake Byrne Associate Professor of Romance Studies and Associate Professor in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University,

    Posing: Modernist Photography in Mexico

    Modernist artists in Mexico refined the act of posing during the years featured in this exhibition. They posed for international artists and writers who flocked to the country during the “Mexican Renaissance,” and they posed for the camera as it entered the fine arts with increasing confidence and power. This presentation focuses on photography to introduce the pleasures and tensions of the pose as a defining activity of Mexican modernism.

    2:15pm
  • Speaker / James Oles

    James Oles, Senior Lecturer in the Art Department at Wellesley College and adjunct curator of Latin American art at the Davis Museum

    Diego Rivera’s Symbolic Landscapes

    As a student at Mexico’s national academy in the early 20th century, Diego Rivera studied under landscape painter José María Velasco, whose own career had begun over a half century earlier. In this talk, Oles traces the impact of Velasco and others—including Cézanne and the Surrealists—on Rivera’s Mexican Landscapes, from his early murals to a strange scene of anthropomorphic cactus in the Gelman Collection (and that once hung in Frida Kahlo’s living room) to images of the rocky cliffs of Acapulco, done at the very end of his life. In such works, Rivera combined observed reality with fictionalized elements, supercharging the natural world with symbols both humorous and sinister.

    3:05pm
  • 15-minute break

    3:30pm
  • Panel Discussion and Audience Q+A / moderated by Ellen Roberts

    3:45pm

These programs are made possible with support from the Gayle and Paul Gross Education Endowment Fund

CDC COVID-19 Community Level for Palm Beach County: LOW

MASKS ENCOURAGED BUT NOT REQUIRED
NEGATIVE TESTS OR PROOF OF COVID-19 VACCINATION NOT REQUIRED
TEMPERATURE TAKING NOT REQUIRED

The following general policies are in effect immediately and will remain so while Palm Beach County’s Community Level remains LOW:

  • Masks are optional, but encouraged, for all guests visiting the Norton. Masks are provided upon request. All Norton staff will continue to wear masks.
  • Temperature taking is voluntary upon entering the Museum
  • A negative COVID test (or optional presentation of proof of vaccination) is not required for admission to the Museum.

Please note that the Norton’s COVID-19 policies remain subject to change as circumstances evolve. Visit norton.org/covid-19 for the most up-to-date information. 

The Museum will continue to conduct heightened cleaning and sanitation and will continue to provide masks to visitors who request them.

This policy is based on guidance and recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other authoritative or controlling government-issued health standards.

For the most up-to-date information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), click here.
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If you are unable to visit us in person, please visit The Norton Channel for a wide range of virtual resources, activities, and programs.

Know before you go!
The health and safety of our guests is a top priority for the Norton Museum.