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Lecture by Dawn Ades

Pyramid of the Magician, Uxmal / Sulzer
Thursday, January 31, 2013
7:00–8:30 p.m.
Harold M. Williams Auditorium
The Getty Center

The journal Dyn was created in Mexico in the 1940s by an international group of artists who shared a fascination with the indigenous past of the Americas. It included the work of avant-garde writers, painters, and photographers, as well as scholarly contributions by anthropologists and archaeologists.

Dyn attracted a number of distinguished contributors, among them the English sculptor Henry Moore. When Moore claimed that the "new friendship . . . between art and anthropology has been of fundamental importance to twentieth-century art," he had in mind "most of those cultures which are outside European and the great Oriental civilisations," among them pre-Columbian cultures. The new conjunction between archaeology, anthropology, and modern art was spectacularly registered in Dyn. The journal published not only the latest archaeological research in Mexico but also unusual anthropological and aesthetic perspectives that explored, for example, modern art and photography's relationships with indigenous cultures.

In this talk, Dawn Ades—a professor of art history and theory at the University of Essex who has published widely on Dada, surrealism, and photography—examines Dyn's distinctive character compared to other journals of the period and shows why it is considered a high point in the long history of the surrealists' engagement with pre-Columbian and First Nations art.

A conversation with Associate Director Joanne Pillsbury and Exhibition Curator Annette Leddy follows the lecture.

This lecture complements the exhibition Farewell to Surrealism: The Dyn Circle in Mexico, on view in the Research Institute Exhibition Gallery at the Getty Center from October 2, 2012, to February 17, 2013.

The gallery will be open before the lecture.