SAN ANTONIO, TX.-
In Baroque to Bauhaus (on view through June 10) scene and costume designs, gilded ornaments stand out against steel girders and lace mantillas against oilskin raincoats, all of which embrace extremes of artistic expression and human emotion. For his late baroque operas Marriage of Figaro (1786) and Così fan tutte (1790), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed music as playfully complex as their amorous intrigues and ornate settings. By contrast, at the interdisciplinary Bauhaus workshops in Germany (1919-1933), Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and other artist-designers explored the mechanical movements of human form in space and time.
Using the allure of shawls and violence of boots, costume designer Robert Perdziola conveys the fiery passions of Spain as imagined by 19th-century French composer Georges Bizet in Carmen. For Benjamin Britten's McCarthy-era opera Peter Grimes, scenic designer Scott Pask creates a setting that presses in on the outcast English fisherman like the crowd's suspicions.
Costumes lent by the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Santa Fe Opera bring designs from the Tobin Collection to life. New acquisitions for the McNay
's collection heighten the contrasts through engravings of outdoor spectacles complete with fireworks in 1700s Rome and bejeweled Art Deco costume designs for The Drowsy Chaperone on Broadway.
This exhibition was organized by the McNay Art Museum and is a program of the Tobin Theatre Arts Fund.
Built by artist and educator Marion Koogler McNay in the 1920s, the Spanish Colonial Revival-style residence opened as Texas's first museum of modern art in 1954. Today more than 100,000 visitors a year enjoy works by modern masters including Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. In June 2008, the museum opened the 45,000-square-foot Jane and Arthur Stieren Center for Exhibitions designed by internationally renowned French architect Jean-Paul Viguier. Nearly doubling the McNay's exhibition space, the Stieren Center includes three separate outdoor sculpture galleries.