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January 15, 2013

The Magic of Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo

By Francesca Giacco | Exhibitions


© Courtesy of the Spanish Institute

Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo may be the definition of a renaissance man. Raised in a prominent Spanish family of artists, curators and collectors, his career spanned textile and clothing design, photography and the visual arts.

“Fortuny y Madrazo: An Artistic Legacy,” a new exhibit at New York’s Queen Sofía Spanish Institute, celebrates this creative lineage. Conceived and curated by Oscar de la Renta, the exhibit showcases Fortuny’s impressive body of work, including unprecedented loans from prominent Spanish and Italian museums and leading private collectors.

His fashion designs—the iconic, uncorseted dresses in rich colors and textures he is perhaps best known for—combine old-world fabrics with a sensibility that still feels modern. Lit dramatically and displayed against walls lined with antique textiles, the dresses reside alongside the paintings, photographs and designs that inspired Fortuny throughout his life, giving context to his process from beginning to end. Through March 30; 684 Park Ave.; 212-628-0420; spanishinstitute.org.