Helly Nahmad Gallery’s new show “MNEMOSYNE: de Chirico & Antiquity” celebrates a modern master’s artistic return to classical antiquity. Displayed alongside a carefully curated selection of Greek and Roman antiquities, de Chirico’s lesser known, Neo-Classicist paintings illuminate the very works that inspired them. From marble statues of gods and muses, triclinium mosaics, bronze figurines and armor, Attic Greek vases, and even a gold funerary mask, each artifact predates the fifth century AD. Individually juxtaposed with de Chrico’s post-Surrealist paintings, their ancient, classical forms don a contemporized presence in the space.
The show is named after Mnemosyne, the Greek goddess of memory, the mother of the Muses, and, symbolically, memory itself personified. Thus this exhibition pays homage to her and the art of remembrance, as it illustrates how fastidious retrospective inspiration can result in a markedly avant-garde body of work.
The outcome of this, a veritable conflation of two worlds into one, is a rare treasure to behold – for excitable philhellenes and contemporary art lovers alike.
(Roman gold bracelet with a hunting scene, 2nd – 3rd Century A.D.)
“Mnemosyne” will be on display until January 30th. Due to the fragility and value of the works, attendance must be limited and large groups will not be admitted without prior consent. Helly Nahmad Gallery is located on 975 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10075. http://www.hellynahmadgallery.com/
(Giorgio de Chirico, Gladiateurs et fauves, 1928; Italic Bronze Cuirass, 4th Century B.C).