Patricia Cronin, Aphrodite and the Lure of Antiquity: Conversations with the Collection

Tampa Museum of Art
120 W. Gasparilla Plaza
Tampa, FL
August 16, 2018 - January 6, 2019




Patricia Cronin (American, b. 1963) is an internationally recognized Brooklyn-based artist uniquely suited to launch the Conversations with the Collection exhibition series. Winner of a Rome Prize in Visual Art in 2006-2007, and past Trustee of the American Academy in Rome, Cronin is deeply interested in the ancient world, which she frequently references in her work. For the first commission in this biennial series, Cronin has created Aphrodite Reimagined, a large outdoor sculpture of Aphrodite inspired by a fragmentary 1st-century AD marble torso of the goddess in the Museum’s collection. Cronin’s sculpture re-envisions the fragment as a monumental “complete” sculpture with a stone torso and translucent head, arms, and legs. Aphrodite Reimagined invites viewers to reconsider the narrative of an ancient artwork heavily restored after its rediscovery, and acts as a metaphor for shifting certainties about human history. On view inside the galleries are a smaller maquette version of Aphrodite Reimagined, together with the Tampa torso and an ancient head on loan from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Although not originally from the same sculpture, the head and torso were joined for many years, probably from soon after their discovery in the late eighteenth century until 1934, when an art dealer detached them from one another for separate sales. Also part of Cronin’s Aphrodite Reimagined series are a two-part cast glass sculpture, her first work in this medium, depicting the forms around an absent Aphrodite sculpture, and a new group of multi-layered paintings creating silhouetted ghosts of famous Aphrodite sculptures from museum collections all around the world.

In its second interior gallery, the exhibition continues to explore questions about presence and absence and the writing and rewriting of historical narratives today through juxtapositions of earlier work by Cronin with other Tampa Museum of Art antiquities. These include an Etruscan cinerary urn displayed alongside multiple iterations of Cronin’s 2002 sculpture Memorial to a Marriage, a powerful artwork that references ancient and neoclassical funerary monuments as well as contemporary issues of social justice. Additionally, numerous watercolors from Cronin’s Harriet Hosmer: Lost and Found, A Catalogue Raisonné, together with fragmentary sculptures by the neoclassical sculptor Harriet Hosmer herself, resonate with ancient artworks, both in terms of form and subject matter.

The Tampa Museum of Art will publish an exhibition catalogue, which will include photographs of these visual conversations between classical, neoclassical, and contemporary artworks displayed side by side, later in the exhibition.

Seth Pevnick, Chief Curator and Richard E. Perry Curator of Greek and Roman Art, says, “I am very excited to share with our visitors this contemporary look at ancient art. I often tell people how alive ancient art can be, and the opportunity to show some of the Museum’s antiquities alongside new work by Patricia Cronin will underscore this point. The juxtaposition of new and old artworks will be both beautiful and thought-provoking. I hope it will inspire artists and visitors to think about our own world and the worlds of the ancients in new and different ways.”

Artist Patricia Cronin says, "This invitation from the Tampa Museum of Art has provided me an unparalleled opportunity for research, experimentation, and invention for this new series of sculptures and paintings that reevaluate and subvert historical approaches to statuary and reinvent notions of the human, the heroic, and the divine.”

Installation Views


APHRODITE REIMAGINED, COLD CAST MARBLE AND RESIN, MONUMENTAL SCULPTURE, 121 X 32.5 X 36 INCHES

APHRODITE REIMAGINED, (DETAIL),COLD CAST MARBLE AND RESIN, MONUMENTAL SCULPTURE, 121 X 32.5 X 36 INCHES

APHRODITE REIMAGINED, (DETAIL),COLD CAST MARBLE AND RESIN, MONUMENTAL SCULPTURE, 121 X 32.5 X 36 INCHES

APHRODITE REIMAGINED, COLD CAST MARBLE AND RESIN, MONUMENTAL SCULPTURE, 121 X 32.5 X 36 INCHES

APHRODITE AND THE LURE OF ANTIQUITY: CONVERSATIONS WITH THE COLLECTION (INSTALLATION VIEW)

APHRODITE AND THE LURE OF ANTIQUITY: CONVERSATIONS WITH THE COLLECTION (INSTALLATION VIEW)

APHRODITE AND THE LURE OF ANTIQUITY: CONVERSATIONS WITH THE COLLECTION (INSTALLATION VIEW)

APHRODITE AND THE LURE OF ANTIQUITY: CONVERSATIONS WITH THE COLLECTION (INSTALLATION VIEW)

MEMORIAL TO A MARRIAGE, CARRARA MARBLE, OVER LIFE SIZE 

APHRODITE AND THE LURE OF ANTIQUITY: CONVERSATIONS WITH THE COLLECTION (INSTALLATION VIEW)

APHRODITE AND THE LURE OF ANTIQUITY: CONVERSATIONS WITH THE COLLECTION (INSTALLATION VIEW)

APHRODITE AND THE LURE OF ANTIQUITY: CONVERSATIONS WITH THE COLLECTION (INSTALLATION VIEW)

Press


"Patricia Cronin Casts Aphrodite as a Feminist Role Model"
Hyperallergic | October 29 2018

"To Draw Viewers, Museums Show That What’s Old Is New Again "
The New York Times | October 25 2018

"On the Town: Artists invited to "reimagine" ancient artworks"
Bay 9 Spectrum News | September 7 2018

"From Mark Bradford in Baltimore to Victor Hugo in LA:
33 Museum Shows Around the US Worth Traveling For "
Art Net News | September 5 2018

"Patricia Cronin brings a monumental Aphrodite to the Tampa Museum of Art "
Tampa Bay Times | August 23 2018

"Tampa Museum of Art Kicks off the Season of Love"
ABC Action News | August 21 2018

"Artist Patricia Cronin on her upcoming exhibit at the Tampa Museum of Arts "
Creative Loafing | August 16 2018

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