Archive of the World: Art and Imagination in Spanish America, 1500–1800
Archive of the World: Art and Imagination in Spanish America, 1500–1800 is the first exhibition of LACMA’s notable holdings of Spanish American art. Following the arrival of the Spaniards in the Americas in the 15th century, the region developed complex artistic traditions that drew on Indigenous, European, Asian, and African art. The Spanish conquest of the Philippines in 1565 inaugurated a commercial route that connected Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Private homes and civic and ecclesiastic institutions in Spanish America were filled with imported and locally made objects. Many local objects also traveled across the globe, attesting to their wide appeal. This confluence of riches signaled the status of the Americas as a major emporium—what one author described as “the archive of the world.” Featuring approximately 90 works, including several recent acquisitions, the exhibition emphasizes the creative power of Spanish America.
The Portable Universe / El Universo en Tus Manos
Thought and Splendor of Indigenous Colombia
Comprising approximately 400 works, including an unprecedented number of loans from the Museo del Oro in Bogota, this groundbreaking exhibition presents the diversity and materiality of ancient Colombian cultures and reframes how we approach ancient Colombian art. With the European conquest, Indigenous cultures and knowledge, based on millennia of intellectual efforts, were disregarded as crude superstition. The Portable Universe is designed to recapture some of that knowledge and to envelop the works with life and meaning, inviting visitors into a cultural dialogue that spans both space and time. The project also draws heavily on contemporary Indigenous understandings to evoke a worldview in which ancient artworks have relevance for today and the future. The curatorial team has been working in close collaboration with the Arhuaco of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, who are supporting and engaged in the project, part of a long-term initiative in fostering cross-cultural dialogue and knowledge exchange.
Mind, Mythos, Muse
Lee Alexander McQueen
One of the most significant contributors to fashion between 1990 and 2010, Lee Alexander McQueen (London, 1969–2010) was both a conceptual and technical virtuoso. His critically acclaimed collections synthesized the designer’s proficiency in tailoring and dressmaking with both encyclopedic and autobiographical references that spanned time, geography, media, and technology. The first McQueen exhibition on the West Coast, Lee Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse contextualizes the designer’s imaginative work within a canon of artmakers who drew upon analogous themes and visual references. Exploring imagination, artistic process, and innovation in fashion and art, the exhibition examines the interdisciplinary impulse that defined the designer’s career. Displaying select McQueen garments from the Collection of Regina J. Drucker alongside artworks largely from LACMA’s permanent collection, Mind, Mythos, Muse presents a case study of the designer’s methods and influences, and in doing so, provides the opportunity to better understand artistic legacy and cycles of inspiration