Internationally acclaimed art expert and presenter Gregorio Luke presents Picasso and African Art as part of the Exhibition LEROI: Living in Color.
In the context of LeRoi Johnson’s exhibition LEROI: Living in Color, distinguished art scholar Gregorio Luke will present Picasso and African Art. Mr. Luke will discuss Picasso’s life and career. Special emphasis will be placed on the debt owed to African Art, not only by Picasso, but by Modern Art. This event is free and open to the public.
“The opportunity to have Luke come to Buffalo for this conversation is incredible,” Scott Propeack, Executive Director of the Burchfield Penney stated, “we have spent months looking at LeRoi’s work and hearing about his experience, but understanding where he fits into the greater conversation about the African Diaspora places the conversation in an international context.”
After his first contact with African art at the Trocadero Museum in Paris in 1906, Picasso was stunned: “…I understood what painting really meant. It was not an aesthetic process. It is a form of magic that stands between us and the hostile universe, imposing a form on our terrors as well as our wishes. The day I understood that I found my way.”
What Picasso saw in African art was a new way of looking at the world, because African sculptors and carvers had been abstracting the human figure for centuries. Their sophisticated use of flat planes and bold contours was unlike anything previously done in Europe, where the focus was the naturalistic representation of reality. As Marius de Zayas affirms “the entire modernist abstraction is an offspring of African Art.”
Gregorio Luke is an expert on Mexican and Latin American art and culture. He is the former Director of the Museum of Latin American Art, Consul of Cultural Affairs of Mexico in Los Angeles and the First Secretary of the embassy of Mexico in Washington D.C.
An internationally known art expert and speaker. He has presented thousands of lectures at museums and universities throughout the U.S., Mexico, Europe, China and South America, including the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, Harvard and Columbia universities and the Florence Biennale. Luke is the creator of Murals Under the Stars, an outdoor larger than life encounter with the great murals of the world. Elena Poniatowska, Grand Dame of Mexican literature says: “Gregorio gives the most extraordinary lectures that can be seen on earth…” For Agustn Gurza of the LA TIMES: “Luke speaks as if he’s seen a vision. His listeners can’t help but see it too”