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20TH CENTURY VARIATIONS: REFLECTIONS

With the rise of Conceptual Art in the 1960s and again in the 90s, and under the impact of structuralist and post-structuralist thought, the major fascination of Las Meninas for artists resides in the painting’s intricate play of perception and reflection, and the ambiguous role of the reflected image in the mirror.
Central to much of this thinking was the Foucault’s seminal article on Las Meninas (1966), which had a profound impact on several artists in this exhibition (Paolini, Comar, Downey, Witkin).
The ambivalence of the reflection in the mirror, the speculation that Velázquez’s entire canvas represented the reflection in a mirror, have long been central aspects of any discussion focusing on Las Meninas. It is the royal reflection in the mirror that allows the gravitational pull, which extends the picture’s space well beyond its own confines into the space of the viewer.
Mirror reflections have for some of the artists in this exhibition become the very subject of their citation and the only apparent physical relationship to the original (Bravo, Arikha, Craig-Martin).

During the 1990s the fascination with theoretical rather than pictorial or socio-political issues became increasingly prevalent in appropriation art. As a result the derived artwork is increasingly defined by its distance from the physical resemblance to Las Meninas, thus further invigorating the dynamic dialogue between the citation and the original.

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Arikha
Studio interior with mirror
       
Picasso
      Portrait of Jacqueline
       

Reinas e Infantas Velázquez: un referente para Picasso Variaciones s.XX: iconografia Variaciones s.XX: el espacio Variaciones s.XX: el reflejo