ST. PETERSBURG, FLA.- The Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg
is currently presenting, "From Chaos to Order: Greek Geometric Art from the Sol Rabin Collection," the first major museum exhibition in the United States, in more than 25 years, to focus on Greek art created during the Geometric period (c. 900-700 B.C.). It is on view through April 11, 2021.
The exhibition includes 57 objects drawn from the Sol Rabin Collection, considered the most important private collection of Greek Geometric art. With the exception of three objects, this is the first time the works are on public display. The collection presents decisive new evidence that reconsiders the contributions and innovations of Geometric art and its enduring legacy throughout classical antiquity. The exhibition is a new approach to understanding pre-classical Greek art and culture, ideologies and values both ancient and modernand the elements of design that would be foundational for many Western civilizations.
The exhibition presents a diversity of bronze artworks: statuettes of gods and mortals, horses, and a broad range of animals and other creatures, as well as vases and personal ornaments, such as belts, pendants, and brooches. The centerpiece of the show is a ring-handled tripod cauldron from the early eighth century B.C., the only example of its time period standing on its legs.
Geometric art, essentially a rebirth of Greek art, is about refining beauty to its elemental core. It is a rigorous visual language whose vocabulary is balance, symmetry, and rhythmic repetition leading to monumental wholes, said MFA Senior Curator of Early Western Art Michael Bennett, Ph.D. It illustrates stories drawn largely from Homers the Iliad and the Odyssey. These great epic poems were soundtracks of the period. They defined the nature of heroism, mortality, divinity, and the workings of the universe. In many ways, Geometric art is frozen poetry.
A fully-illustrated catalogue published by the MFA, St. Petersburg
accompanies the exhibition. It is available for purchase at the museum or The MFA Store online.