Historical Takes

Eleanor Antin: Historical Takes (M Antin .A627 A4 2008) The San Diego Museum of Art exhibition is the first to focus on Antin’s recent series of large-scale tableaux photographs based on Greek and Roman history and mythology.

Eleanor Antin’s (Art21 Season 2) exquisitely staged photographs invoke Pompeii and Helen, as well as fictionalized classical narratives using friends as models posed in various locations throughout San Diego.

Created from 2001 to 2008, Antin’s new works engage photography in a dialogue with nineteenth-century European salon painting, evident in the staging and backdrops of her photos that were inspired or transformed from the grand tradition of European history painting, including the classical James Copley Auditorium at SDMA. “The works are affectionate spoofs on classical culture with metaphorical parallels to the excesses of contemporary consumer economy.”

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