Los Angeles County Museum of Art ,|
Dec 14, 2000 - Dec 01, 2001
Los Angeles, CA, USA
The Bernard and Edith Lewin Latin American Art Galleries
The Bernard and Edith Lewin Latin American Art Galleries: Los Angeles County Art Museum's Permanent Collection of Latin American Art
On December 14, 2000, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art announced the opening of their new permanent collection galleries, the Bernard and Edith Lewin Latin American Art Galleries; a new Study Center for Latin American Art; and a new associate curator of Latin American art, Dr. Ilona Katzew.
The new galleries are for the permanent collection of LACMA's expanding collection of modern and contemporary Latin American art. Occupying 4,000 square feet in LACMA West, the galleries are named for Bernard and Edith Lewin, who in 1997 gave the museum more than 2,000 works, strengthening LACMA's commitment to collect and exhibit Latin American art. The Lewin Collection forms the basis of the inaugural display, which also includes works acquired through purchase or donated to the museum by other benefactors. The Lewin Galleries will be devoted to rotating Latin American exhibitions from the museum's holding. To oversee this new gallery and collection, LACMA welcomes Dr. Ilona Katzew as associate curator of Latin American art. She will will mount temporary exhibitions of Latin American art, and oversee the Lewin Galleries, collection and study center. At the opening event, Dr. Katzew stated, "This collection puts the museum in the forefront of the United States' interest in collecting Latin American Art".
The Lewin Collection is recognized as one of the largest and most important holdings of 20th century Latin American art in the United States and valued at more the $25 million. The collection includes 1,800 paintings and works on paper by such masters as Jose Clemente Orozco, Rufino Tamayo, and Diego Rivera, including the only portrait Rivera ever painted of his wife Frida Kahlo. Bernard and Edith Lewin began collecting art when they purchased three Diego Rivera paintings in 1958. These Rivera' join LACMA's cornerstone work of their Latin American collection, Diego Rivera's, Dia de Flores, acquired by LACMA in the late 1920s when they mounted the First Pan American Art Exhibition. The Lewin Collection includes major works by David Alfaro Siqueiros, Carlos Merida, Jose Clemente Orozco, and Rufino Tamayo.
The inaugural installation of 83 paintings, in the Lewin Galleries, presents primarily modern Mexican paintings from surrealism to social realism. Grouped together in one gallery are the works of surrealism from drawings of the 1930s and 1940s by the Cuban artist Wilfredo Lam, the Chilean Roberto Matta, and British ex-patriot to Mexico Leonora Carrington. Los Tres Grandes of the Mexican mural movement, Jose Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros, are represented by major paintings and works on paper. Most significant in the collection of the works of Rufino Tamayo, and one full room is devoted to displaying 10 of the finest in the collection. Second largest in the collection are the holding of significant works by Carlos Merida. Eight important works document Merida's artistic contribution in the form of works on canvas, paper and wood relief from 1921-1960. Also featured are 1940s woodcuts from Mexico's famous print studio of political graphics, the Taller de Grafica Popular; four works by French-born muralist Jean Charlot; and social realist works by Miguel Covarrubias.
Bernard Lewin acknowledged LACMA's committment to the art by stating, "because LACMA is the only museum in Los Angeles with an encyclopedic collection, including the full spectrum of 20th century art, we feel this is where our collection belongs. LACMA has demonstrated its role as the cultural cornerstone of this region and we are delighted that the museum will help us share with the community these works that have greatly enriched our lives. Dr Ilona Katzew is the new associate curator of Latin American art. In January 2000 Dr. Katzew completed her Ph.D. at the Institute