The Arts of the Missions of Northern New Spain: 1600-1821, installed in the museum’s forbiddingly dark special exhibitions space, is claustrophobic and oppressive — beginning as it does with lifesize paintings of wounded and bleeding missionaries, moving quickly into virgins, babes, and vicously mauled Jesuses, circling back to sainted martyrs, and ending with a sort of reification of submission — but also tragically beautiful and occasionally strangely erotic.Well, I can't imagine why the Spanish colonial period and Mexican national period are so ignored as part of American history. Violence and erotica? Sounds like a week at the movies to me, or even some presidencies.
Read more of this new artsy twist on the black legend here.
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