Meadows Museum Opens “Manet to Miro”

September 14, 2008  

By Nadia Dabbakeh
ndabbake@smu.edu

The Meadows Museum is hosting an exclusive showing of one of Spain’s
most prestigious and noted private art collections.

The exhibit, which opened Sunday and runs through Dec. 2, is called
“From Manet to Miró: Modern Drawings from the Abelló Collection.”

The collection consists of 64 modern and contemporary master drawings
spanning over 200 years. The drawings belong to Juan Abelló and his
wife, Anna Gamazo, of Madrid, and are being shown together for the
first time in the United States.

“Seeing them in this breadth, and in this large of an assembly, has
never happened before,” said Mark Roglán, director of the Meadows
Museum.

The drawings are grouped according to artistic movements, including
Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism,
Surrealism, Pop and Contemporary Art.

The exhibit is organized in a way that Roglán calls “intimate” — everything
is hung at eye level, and no drawings are hung on inside walls, so you may
step back and look at the art with ease.

Guillermo Solana, chief curator of the Thyssen-Bornesmisza Museum in
Madrid and curator of “From Manet to Miró,” traveled to Dallas to open
the exhibit.

“Here, we have a wonderful, magnificent space,” Solana told a crowd of
30 at the preview. “In our museum, the drawings were too close to each
other.”

“Now they’re expanded, and pieces have been added that were absent
before, because of lack of space,” he said. “It has made the exhibit
even better.”

The collection is varied and eclectic, Solana said. It includes
everything from abstracts to figures and works from different moments
and movements in art.

It is also universal, he said, because in spite of the large presence
of Spanish art, it also includes prominent masters from France,
Germany, the U.S., and many other countries.

The collection is diverse in terms of style and techniques
represented. It includes drawings in many different mediums such as
graphite, pastels, gouache, ink and more.

Solana said that while many private collections have a singular focus,
this is not that kind. Rather, it is the collection of an open-minded
person who loves every kind of art.

Janis Bergman-Carton, associate professor and chair of the Art History
Department at SMU, said the collection is a must-see for anyone
interested in art.

“It is always valuable for students to have the opportunity to see the
actual works of art in person, because most of the time we only see
them in representation,” Bergman-Carton said. “Especially such a large
collection of drawings, which are much more personal.”

“To stand directly in front of it and get to see all of the
decision-making processes, like what kind of paper was used, or how
expressive the artists brush strokes are … it’s just a wonderful
opportunity.”

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