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The Marvellous Real: Art from Mexico, 1926 - 2011

October 25, 2013 - March 30, 2014
MOA, The Audain Gallery


In 1949, the Cuban writer and ethno-musicologist, Alejo Carpentier (1904 – 1980), coined the term the “marvellous real” to describe a particular kind of magic realism that is manifest in the arts and everyday life of Latin America. Eluding the expected through bizarre amalgamations, improbable juxtapositions, and fantastic correlations, the marvellous real is, as Carpentier said, “neither beautiful nor ugly; rather, it is amazing because it is strange.”  

This exhibition features 55 artworks from Mexico that capture the idea of the marvellous real. Drawn from the FEMSA Collection in Mexico, the exhibition includes works by 
Dr. Atl, Leonora Carrington, Jean Charlot, Juan O’Gorman, Alice Rahon, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Juan Soriano, and Rufino Tamayo, as well as a younger generation of visual artists like Carlos Amorales, Sandra Cabriada, Claudia Fernández, Adela Goldbard, Yishai Jusidman, Alejandro Santiago and Francisco Toledo. Curated by Dr. Nicola Levell (Assistant Professor, Anthropology, UBC).

Please note that Frida Kahlo's My Dress Hangs Here is no longer on display.      

The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the FEMSA Collection, the Agencia Mexicana de Cooperación International Para el Desarrollo, the Consulado General de México en Vancouver, the Ollin Mexican Canadian Association for Arts, Culture and Education, and the Fundación Alejo Carpentier.