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Steve Christensen
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Loyola University Chicago
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Georges Rouault Works on Display at LUMA

Miserere et Guerre Exhibit Offers Unique Look into Artist's Viewpoints


CHICAGO, January 18, 2007 — The Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) presents Georges Rouault: Miserere et Guerre, opening February 3. The show features 58 etchings on loan from the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art at Saint Louis University and will be on display in LUMA's galleries through March 31, 2007.

A French painter and printmaker known for his deeply religious subject matter, Rouault (1871-1958) executed Miserere et Guerre (Mercy and War) between 1914 and 1927, illustrating the horrors of war, the plight of the downtrodden, and the Passion of Christ. Having begun the series at the onset of World War I, Rouault experienced the pervasive loss and devastation of war, which greatly influenced his subject matter. Rouault's admiration for the poor and common people, whose humble lives and suffering he believed imitated Christ's struggle, was also a constant theme throughout his oeuvre. Rouault perceived human suffering as redemptive, and Miserere et Guerre reflects Rouault's compassion, social concerns, and activism.

Rouault's original edition was published by the famous dealer and patron of avant-garde artists Ambroise Vollard, the subject of an upcoming exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago and the man well known for having given Paul Cézanne his first retrospective. A controversial figure, the dealer agreed to finance the publication of Miserere, and Rouault signed a contract turning over the rights to all of his artwork in return for financial support, a decision the artist later regretted. He eventually sued to reclaim more than 800 unfinished paintings from Vollard's heirs.

Vollard ordered the artist to translate his drawings into paintings in gouache oil, which were then photo-engraved on copper plates (21" x 18"), the largest available at that time. Rouault worked between 1922 and 1927 to perfect the Miserere plates, using a combination of aquatint, dry point, roulette and acid, and brush. The plates became a virtuosic endeavor, culminating in the prints that express great subtlety of tone and shading.

The exhibit is accompanied by a catalogue entitled, Georges Rouault's Miserere et Guerre: This Anguished World of Shadows, written by Soo Yun Kang and Holly Flora. The catalogue will be available for purchase in the LUMA museum shop.

Public Programs
Sunday, March 4
In Face of Death and War: Rouault's Miserere
William B. and Marilyn M. Simpson Lecture Hall at LUMA (820 N. Michigan Ave.)
3:00 p.m.
Free with museum admission
Reservations are strongly suggested: luma@luc.edu or 312-915-7630.

Dr. Soo Kang, a leading scholar on Rouault, will discuss the origin and development of Rouault's print album, Miserere. Greatly affected by the death of his father in 1912 and by World War I, Rouault rendered the first sketches in response to these two events. The project, over the years, came to represent something far beyond a subjective account of personal heartbreak and developed into a universal statement about sufferings of the world.

Tuesday, March 13
First Genocide of the 21st Century: A Report from Darfur
Kasbeer Hall, 15th floor, 25 East Pearson (corner of Wabash and Pearson)
5:30 p.m.
$5 for members / $10 for non-members
Reservations are strongly suggested: luma@luc.edu or 312-915-7630.

Nicholas Kristof, an op-ed columnist with The New York Times, has traveled to Darfur six times and was awarded his second Pulitzer Prize for his in-depth commentary and for traveling at great personal risk through Darfur and Chad. Kristof will discuss the current situation in Darfur, his own experiences there, and how we can help to stop the slaughter and bring peace to a nation at war.

About LUMA
Opened in 2005, the Loyola University Museum of Art is dedicated to exploring, promoting, and understanding art and artistic expression that illuminates the enduring spiritual questions of all cultures and societies. As a museum with an interest in education and educational programming, LUMA reflects the University’s Jesuit mission and is dedicated to helping people of all creeds explore the roots of their faith and spiritual quests. Located at Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus, the museum occupies the first three floors of the University’s historic Lewis Towers on Chicago’s famous Michigan Avenue. For more information, visit the museum’s website at LUC.edu/luma.

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