The aim of this exhibition is to offer a broad overview of the concepts, issues and solutions involved in the depiction of shadows in art from the Renaissance to the present day. The exhibition is organised into two closely related sections. Firstly, it presents a comprehensive survey of the work of artists and movements who have depicted and used the element of shadow in various ways from the Renaissance to the late 19th century. These range from symbolic connotations and the way that Renaissance artists studied and used perspective to the representation of light and shade in Impressionism, also looking at the spectacular way that tenebrist Baroque painters used this element as well as its incorporation as a crucial narrative element in the Romantic and post-Romantic periods. The second part, which will be shown in the exhibition space of Fundación Caja Madrid, opens with a section on “lights and shadows in modern art” and analyses these elements were represented during the 20th century. This section pays special attention to the manner in which they were projected in Surrealist games and their important role in German Expressionism. The other sections in the second part offer a survey of the multi-media and light-hearted use of shadow play, from the photography of Man Ray and André Kertész to recent installations by Christian Boltanski, also looking at cinema in the work of Murnau, Orson Welles and Peter Greenaway.

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