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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world. To listen to KPAC 88.3 FM, simply open the player in the gray ribbon at the top of this page and choose KPAC: Classical Music.

Modernists At The McNay, Part One

Modernists at The McNay takes a long view of two exhibitions currently showing at The McNay. First is the important visiting exhibition, Miro: The Experience of Seeing. Second is the parallel exhibition, Picasso, Braque, and the Cubist Legacy: Prints and Drawings from the Collection.

Together, these two exhibitions trace a timeline of more than 75 years. To understand the one is to better understand the other. It's why this provides such a rich opportunity for the gallery-goer. One can see the beginnings of 20th Century modernism, with the Cubists' embrace of the new century and the new world. Joan Miro stopped off along the way, dabbled in the Cubist format, then moved on toward Surrealism, then to a world of creativity all his own. 

The Miro exhibit focuses on Miro's burst of creativity over his last two decades. But, according to Lyle Williams, Curator of Prints and Drawings at the McNay, and the organizer of the Picasso/Braque show, Miro could never have arrived where he did if not for the Cubist movement. Also, one could argue that without Picasso's friendship and support, Miro might never have peaked where he ultimately did.

Modernists at The McNay One begins with a glimpse into the Miro galleries, but then backs away to the Cubist world of Picasso and Braque, to better appreciate the breadth of the movement and the boost it provided into the new world of modern art. Along the way, music is suggested, sometimes by the images themselves and other times by the history of the artists, revealing their likes in music.

We know Joan Miro loved Bach, Mozart, Beethoven . . . the classics. But he also loved the modern composers of his time, Falla, Stravinsky, Ravel. It is said he liked to listen to Bach and Mozart while he worked. The Cubist artists often suggested music by incorporating refracted images of guitars and mandolins into their drawings. They also found a natural alliance with the contemporary composers, especially Stravinsky and Satie.

Within this slide show, one can explore images which are narrated by Dr. William Chiego and Lyle Williams, and further illuminated by the soundtrack of music, mostly classical, but with a touch of jazz here and there. Enjoy the show, on the radio and through this online slide show.

James Baker, host and producer, Modernists at The McNay.