Students Staff

21 June 2013

ESCALA exhibition celebrates Mexican art

Filed under: Latest news, What's on — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 11:06 am

A new exhibition celebrating Mexican art has opened in the University space at Colchester’s firstsite gallery.

Raúl Piña, Doble eclipse de luna, 1998

Raúl Piña, Doble eclipse de luna, 1998

Mexican Migrations features work by Mexican artists from ESCALA, the Essex Collection of Art from Latin America. It includes recent acquisitions by Graciela Iturbide, Mexico’s foremost living photographer, and prints by Mexican masters Rufino Tamayo and José Luis Cuevas.

The exhibition explores the theme of migration, not just as a movement of people but as the migration of texts, stories and myths across cultures and time, media, genres and species.

A number of the artworks reference and re-imagine Mexico’s pre-Hispanic artistic traditions and worldviews, among them those of the Aztecs who originated one of the greatest migration myths of all time.

Other artworks allude indirectly to internal migration within Mexico, of people and ideas, while others explore the constant exchange over time and between coutnries of art and literature.

Mexican Migrations, which is at firstsite until 3 November, contributes to a wider focus this summer on art from Mexico which includes a conference organised by the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies at the University in July, and the Mexico: A Revolution in Art, 1910-1940 exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts which has been curated by Essex alumnus and former ESCALA Curatorial Advisor, Dr Adrian Locke.

Find out more about Mexican Migrations.

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20 March 2013

Jim Ede Collection at firstsite

Filed under: What's on — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 2:27 pm

Jim Ede Collection at The University Space at firstsiteMlle Bourgoint by Christopher Wood

Monday 18 March to Sunday 9 June 2013

The University of Essex and firstsite will present an exhibition of works from the University’s Jim Ede Collection, including paintings by Alfred Wallis, Christopher Wood, Ben Nicholson, Richard Pousette-Dart and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.

In 1964, the newly-established University received a donation of a number of artworks from influential art collector and former Tate curator Jim Ede. Exhibited in the University Space at firstsite, the Jim Ede Collection exhibition showcases a selection of artworks that illustrate the breadth of his collection and his deliberate focus on British-based art and artists.

Jim Ede had been collecting such artists for some time, creating an extraordinary collection that was to become Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge. He described it as a “living place” where art could be enjoyed in a domestic setting unhampered by the austerity of the gallery or museum. As new universities were built in the 1960s, full of post-war vision and idealism, Ede declared that there “should be a Kettle’s Yard in every university”. These pictures in the University of Essex’s collection would have been part of Kettle’s Yard, but Jim Ede hoped that by giving out a few works, we would be inspired to make a collection of our own.

His donation played a formative role of instilling a passion for art that would further blossom in the emergence of the University’s Collection of Latin American Art (ESCALA) and Art Exchange, the University’s gallery that brings new art onto campus through an ever changing programme of exhibitions, thereby making art and culture part of the student experience.

Accompanying the Jim Ede Collection exhibition are series of talks expanding on themes raised, including a talk by Kettle’s Yard Director Andrew Nairne on the genesis of the Jim Ede collection and why the donation was made to Essex.

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