Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Exhibit of the week: La Tauromaquia

In the words of Hemingway - "Bullfighting is the only art in which the artist is in danger of death..."

Exhibit of the week: La Tauromaquia

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Penn’s Arthur Ross Gallery is currently exhibiting works that pay homage to one of the world’s oldest sports: la tauromaquia. Today, there’s a lot of debate over bullfighting. Is it a carefully preserved cultural tradition? A relic of Spain’s past? Or is it gruesome animal torture?

No matter what your modern opinion, bullfighting has inspired artists throughout history. Hemingway was a famous fan; he even wrote about the sport as an art form. Not surprisingly la tauromaquia also inspired visual artists.

Picasso, Goya, and Carnicero’s depictions of bullfighting are all currently displayed at the Arthur Ross Gallery. From Picasso’s abstract black and white works (that seem to channel the bulls’ perspective) to Carnicero’s alarmingly happy bulls, each artist presents a dramatically different view of the tradition.

The exhibition is made up of etchings, plates, and prints and is on view through July 28.

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