Poussin and the Dance at London's National Gallery October 9, 2021 - January 2, 2022


Poussin and the Dance at London's National Gallery October 9, 2021 - January 2, 2022

From October 9, 2021- January 2, 2022, Poussin and the Dance brings to life the artistic processes involved in creating some of Poussin's most joyful and appealing works. Challenging former perceptions to Poussin's work as rigid and cold, this will be the first-ever exhibition devoted to exploring the life of dance present in his body-of-work – uniting paintings and rarely seen drawings alongside the ancient relief sculptures that inspired them. 

The exhibition includes over twenty paintings and drawings from public and private collections in Europe and the USA, the most celebrated being Poussin's Dance to the Music of Time. Considered to be one of his most complex pieces, this painting, on loan from the Wallace Collection, illustrates the perpetual cycle of the human condition through dancers symbolizing the succession of poverty, labor, wealth, and pleasure, which, in excess, circles back to poverty.

In contrast to prior interpretations of Poussin's work as cold, distant, and overly civilized, Poussin and the Dance strives to challenge this perception. Through explorations of wild, raucous, and joyous scenes of dance and beguilement, this exhibition showcases how Poussin grappled with the challenges of arresting movement and capturing the body's expressive potential through his depictions of dance.

Alongside the London exhibition will be a series of film screenings entitled Dance to the Music of Our Time that encompasses dialogue and performances by three London-based contemporary artists who take viewers through the exhibition.

After closing in London on January 2, 2022, the exhibition will travel to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles from February 15 - May 8, 2022)

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