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La Liga de Las Americas

Newly acquired work is Marisol’s signature sculpture


The Party is in full swing in the contemporary galleries of the Toledo Museum of Art, but the guests and the wait staff are strangely still and silent, and they never go home.


Welcome to the world of Marisol!—a once notorious Pop artist, whose sculptures include groupings of life size figures engaged in stylized, but immediately recognizable, social rituals.


The Toledo Museum of Art’s recent acquisition The Party is Marisol’s signature work of art and her largest assemblage, consisting of mirrored wall panels and 15 freestanding figures adorned with real accessories and clothing. Though individualized with elaborate headdresses, nails, or protruding features, each figure’s face—whether plaster or photographic—is Marisol’s own visage.


Born Marisol Escobar to Venezuelan parents—Gustavo Escobar and Josefina Hernández, in 1930, France—Marisol studied in Europe, Los Angeles, and New York before dropping her surname and catapulting to the forefront of the New York art scene in the 1960s.


The press dubbed her the “Latin Garbo” for her striking looks and enigmatic demeanor. Andy Warhol cast her in his films, and The New York Times named her one of the “97 In-Most.” In 1968, she was invited to represent Venezuela at the prestigious Venice Biennale, where she exhibited The Party.


In 1967, her work graced the cover of Time magazine, a rare honor for any artist, and nearly unprecedented for a female artist. Her respect for Leonardo DaVinci led her to complete a sculptural representation of “The Last Supper” and “The Virgin with St. Anne.”

Marisol (Escobar) (French, b. 1930) The Party (detail). Assemblage of 15 freestanding figures and wall panels with painted wood, cloth, plastic, shoes, jewelry, mirror, television set, and other accessories, 1965-66. Toledo Museum of Art, Museum Purchase Fund, by exchange 2005.42 (Photo: Toni M. González) © Marisol (Escobar).


Despite the popularity of both the artist and her work, Marisol’s prominence in the art world began to fade in the 1970s.


The four decades that have passed since Marisol created The Party have afforded a fresh examination for both the work and the artist. “While Marisol is aligned with the Pop Art movement, her work stands apart from the simple categorization that implies:  not only is she the only woman, but she is also the only person of color consistently associated with the movement,” said Dr. Amy Gilman, TMA associate curator of modern and contemporary art.


The Party immeasurably strengthens the POP ART area of TMA’s permanent collection,” Dr. Gilman added. “The time is ripe for the reassessment of Marisol’s place in art history, and we believe TMA can be a leader in this movement.”


For more information on Marisol, see: http://www.latinartmuseum.com/marisol.htm.

About the Toledo Museum
of Art

The mission of the Toledo Museum of Art is based upon the belief in the power of art to ignite the imagination, stimulate thought, and provide enjoyment. Through its collection and programs, ‘it strives to integrate art into the lives of people.’


The Toledo Museum of Art is a nonprofit arts institution funded through individual donations, foundation grants, corporate sponsorships, and investments. The Ohio Arts Council helps fund programs at the TMA.

Marilyn Monroe photo now on exhibit

Admission to the museum is free and is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.–10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; but closed Mondays and major holidays. Friday evening hours are made possible by Fifth Third Bank. The Museum is located at 2445 Monroe Street at Scottwood Avenue, just west of the downtown business district and one block off I-75 with exit designations posted. For general information, visitors can call 419-255-8000 or 800-644-6862, or visit www.toledomuseum.org.

Natori Shunsen (Japanese, 1886–1960), Ichikawa Sh˙ch˙ and Kataoka Gad˙ IV as Umegawa and Ch˙bei. Color woodblock print, 1927. Toledo Museum of Art, Gift of H.D. Bennett, 1939.234

Other exhibits include:
Through Dec. 31, 2005: Strong Women, Beautiful MenJapanese Portrait Prints from the TMA. Canaday Gallery, TMA. Through Dec. 31, 2005: I Wanna Be Loved By Youphotographs of Marilyn Monroe from the Leon and Michaela Constantiner Collection, organized by the Brooklyn Museum. Canaday Gallery, TMA. Explore the concepts of identity and celebrity from two very different perspectives, by experiencing this groundbreaking dual exhibition comprised of photographs of Marilyn Monroe in I Wanna Be Loved By You alongside 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century Japanese woodblock prints in Strong Women, Beautiful Men. Discover the vast differences and startling similarities in how these portraits depict the identities of not only the subjects and the artists, but also their respective public personas.

Through Dec. 31, 2005: About Face. To complement the two major exhibitions, Strong Women, Beautiful Men and I Wanna Be Loved By You, TMA exhibits portraits of famous figures from its collection, including Sarah Bernhardt, Ernest Hemingway, Gloria Swanson, Pablo Picasso, and Art Tatum. With this focused installation, discover how artists communicate the concept of “celebrity” to the viewer and to history. Lose yourself in this sea of faces and ask yourself, what facets of these projected identities are real and which are fabrications? Hitchcock Gallery, TMA.


Through Feb. 26, 2006: Portraits Without Faces. The works of art featured in this new exhibition may not be portraits in the traditional sense, but they allude to human presence through their titles, imagery, or subject matter. Discover how works of art can reflect human identity through more than a face. For example, a carefully arranged still life composed of everyday objects can reflect the identity of an individual not seen in the work. See if you can guess who’s missing in these “portraits.” Gallery 18, Upper Level, TMA.


Through Jan. 22, 2006: Student Exhibit. Students from the TMA School of Art and Design exhibit their creations from the previous term. Community Gallery, Lower Level West Wing, TMA. Canaday Gallery, TMA.

Coming to the TMA
February 5-April 30, 2006: Louis Comfort Tiffany: Artist for the Ages. Discover how Louis Comfort Tiffany’s prolific creations bridged and transcended the Aesthetic Movement, the Arts and Crafts Movement, and Art Nouveau in the late 19th century. This

George Zimbel, Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch, NYC. Gelatin silver print, 1954. © George S. Zimbel 1954/2004, Courtesy of Stephen Bulger Gallery.

exhibition is the first comprehensive examination of Tiffany’s work in the U.S. since the late 1980s. Louis Comfort Tiffany: Artist for the Ages demonstrates how this renowned artist utilized diverse media-from stained glass to furniture and from photography to jewelry-yet remained true to his signature style to create works of art that are uniquely U.S.-American. Louis Comfort Tiffany: Artist for the Ages is organized and circulated by Exhibitions International, NY.


March 3-May 28, 2006: Rembrandt: What Was He Thinking? To mark the 400th anniversary of the birth of Rembrandt, the Museum will present an exhibition of highlights from its extensive collection of the artist's prints. This exhibition will explore Rembrandt’s thought process, and will consist of graphic works that are vignettes of one man's view from four centuries ago. As a part of the exhibition you will see historical scenes, landscapes, self-portraits and portraits, genre scenes, and nude studies.


June 2006: 88th Annual Toledo Area Artists Exhibition. Artists, sign up with the TMA, to receive a prospectus and entry form; visit www.toledomuseum.org.






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