Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sacred in a Secular Age // Latin American Colonial Art

Just up from
The LA Times's arts-blog "Culture Monster," an article on the rising popularity of Colonial Latin American art:

Full Article Here // Excerpt Below

The April issue of ArtNews magazine has a good story on the rising interest in Colonial art of Latin America during the past dozen or more years, including at institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Among the reasons given for the current changes -- and the slowness of past acceptance -- are the precedent of globalization and its cross-cultural clashes, which began to play out dramatically in Latin American 400-plus years ago; the dwindling stock of Old Master European art for the market; shifting U.S. demographics, and more.

Unmentioned is something that is happening in Latin America right now -- Semana Santa, or Holy Week, culminating in Easter Sunday.

A lot of Colonial art has religious subject matter, since conversion to Catholicism was central to Spain's original conquest goal. Art in Europe and the United States has been pretty thoroughly secularized, while many of the most moving works produced during Latin America's Colonial history retain sacred functions.

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