Masterpiece on show

2018-07-17 06:00

Exhibitions come and go but making them memorable can prove tricky at times. However, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz Mocaa) has really pulled the rabbit out of the hat for a new exhibition in celebration of their partnership with the Consulate Of Italy in Cape Town, by unveiling a Baroque painting.

Zeits Mocaa, which was established through a partnership between the V&A Waterfront and collector Jochen Zeitz, is a contemporary art museum that collects, preserves, researches and exhibits 21st century art.

On Tuesday (3 July) they unveiled the painting “Madonna Con Bambino Benedicente” that was painted in 1629 by the renowned Italian Baroque painter Guercino. The exhibition, which is titled Now and Then: Guercino and Kudzani Chiurai is a series at the Zeitz Mocaa that aims at showing the artworks of the past and present in the hopes of exploring how the past resonates with the present through contrasting mediums, forms and processes.

Among those who attended the unveiling was Premier Helen Zille.

“To reconsider the significance of Guercino’s Baroque painting in a contemporary setting suggests the refusal of dominant histories in favour of a multitude of perspectives in which a story has many sides and many potential meanings,” says Julia Kabat, one of the organisers of the exhibition. The other organiser, Gcotylwa Mashiqa, adds: “Working on this exhibition has made me consider how the narrative of history is not fixed, is more complex than we are taught and has gaps. The conversation between Guercino and Chiurai is an attempt to fill in the gaps and relook at the dominant nature of this narrative.”

Zeitz Mocaa’s new partner, Consul Alfredo Tagliaferri, says: “We are proud to showcase a masterpiece of Italian cultural heritage in what is possibly the most important museum space on the African continent.

“I believe that this exhibition will create new stimulating bridges between our cultures. At the same time, I hope it will entice South Africans to travel to Italy and experience how every corner of it can hold something unique, like this beautiful Madonna that is kept in a church in the medieval town of Cento, in the Emilia-Romagna region­.”

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