TCNJ Art Gallery is pleased to present Fear and Folly: The Visionary Prints of Francisco Goya and Federico Castellon, an exhibition in which artistry and literature collide. The exhibition, which will be on view from through March 7, 2013, was organized by the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts in Michigan.
Though separated by about 150 years, Francisco Goya (1746–1828) and Federico Castellon (1914–1971) sometimes appear closer to one another than to their contemporaries, and both artists focused their attention on the human condition. In this exhibition, the artists are represented by two important print series: Goya’s etchings from Los Disparates (or The Proverbs or Follies) and Castellon’s lithographs for Edgar Allen Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death. As exhibition curator, Greg Waskowsky of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts has noted, “Many artists have been drawn to things dark and fantastic, but few have probed the human condition with the insight and truthfulness found in these images.”
Los Disparates was the last of Goya’s major series of etchings, and remained uncompleted at the time of his death. They contain some of the most horrifying, fantastic, and enigmatic creations of Goya’s imagination: strange bird-men soar through a dense darkness, a wild horse abducts a woman, and a host of witches, boogiemen, and other representatives of depraved humanity emerge from the shadow. In his etchings that Goya comes close to the dark fears of our own time.
Both technically and artistically, the images Castellon created for The Masque of the Red Death are among his most remarkable accomplishments. Long an admirer of Edgar Allen Poe, he chose the author’s classic tale of horror when offered a commission in 1969 by Aquarius Press of Baltimore. Rather than being confined to the role of illustrator, Castellon responded to Poe’s work as a kindred spirit. While keeping the spirit of Poe’s story, the imagery is very much the product of Castellon’s fertile imagination.
In conjunction with the exhibition, TCNJ will present a special lecture by Professor Amze Emmons, “Print Culture, Past and Present,” on Friday, February 15, at 11:30 a.m. in Mayo Concert Hall in the Music Building. Emmons will discuss the history of prints as a means of communication, as well as contemporary print making practices.
TCNJ Art Gallery is located in the Arts and Interactive Multimedia Building (AIMM) on the campus at 2000 Pennington Road in Ewing. The gallery is open to the public free of charge Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from noon until 7 p.m., and Sundays from 1 until 3 p.m. For more information about exhibitions and programs at TCNJ Art Gallery, and for directions and parking, visit tcnj.edu/artgallery or call 609-771-2633. Exhibitions at TCNJ are funded in part by the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission through funding from the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.