Party Like It’s 1599

The Bass Museum’s newest exhibition, “The Endless Renaissance,” is dedicated to poking holes in the idea that art history falls neatly into periods of accelerated growth and relative mediocrity. Guest curator Steven Holmes, a veteran of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and the Kunste-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, was brought in to make unlikely pairings of works from vastly different eras and geographies — for instance, a contemporary photograph of a Nigerian hyena trainer by Pieter Hugo with an oil painting by 17-century master Hyacinthe Rigaud. The comparison, according to Holmes, demonstrates how contemporary artists are still engaged in Renaissance-era postures of power and status, and simultaneously, how any work becomes contemporary once viewed.

This Thursday night at the Bass , Holmes will give a lecture about the exhibition, titled Things Looked Different Back Then: The Endless Renaissance and How All Art Is Contemporary. For those of you who slept through art history class, this is your chance to re-up on the salient features of Renaissance and Baroque art, while also getting a taste of the cutting edge.
Thu., May 28, 7 p.m., 2009


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