Venus Rising: Paintings and Drawings

January 23 until April 5, 2018

There are certain works of art that reach such a level of fame that they become an archetypal reference point or even a catalyst for our meditations on the mysteries of human existence. Botticelli’s Birth of Venus (or Venus Rising) c. 1480 is one such painting. In this work the viewer becomes a witness to the birth of Venus. Before us the goddess of beauty materializes from the foam of the sea. There is no moment of evolution or transformation, there is no growth, rather she arrives fully formed; an ideal of perfect feminine beauty and eroticism. In this exhibition 14 artists study and reinterpret this painting. For 15 months these artists have contemplated, examined and recast this monumental artistic achievement. In the process they have reflected deeply on its impact on the history of art, feminism, and popular culture. How has this painting shaped our notions of physical beauty, they ask? Please join us for this contemporary artistic exploration into a painting which continues to captivate.