press release

'I would like to guide the viewers through a journey to paradise,' says the Florida-based Argentine artist Sergio Vega about his work showcased in the atrium of the LWL State Museum of Art and Cultural History in Münster (Germany). The installation of excerpts from Paradise in the New World is being shown as part of the exhibition 'Destinations of Desire - Travelling with Artists', which is held at the museum from 28 September 2008 through 11 January 2009. Tropical fruits, organic modernist designs, and an enormous silhouette of the rainforest in Vega's installation are waiting to be discovered by visitors to the exhibition.

The artist actually did travel to paradise: 'The Garden of Eden is located at the center of South America, in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. 'I only had a copy of the map hand drawn in 1617 with me when I went in search of this hidden place more than ten years ago,' explains the artist. His knowledge about the location of this paradise stems from the book also titled Paradise in the New World written by León Pinelo in the seventeenth century. Pinelo provides a precise topography of the Garden of Eden that Columbus believed to have found in the Gulf of Paria. However, the word 'paradise' means much more to Vega that the real place in the forest; indeed, it is disclosing the overlapping of reality and myth that fascinates the artist. His installation consists of six individual works that employ a variety of symbols related to paradise.

Parts of the project Paradise in the New World, ongoing now for more than ten years, have been exhibited at the 51st Venice Biennale, the 5th Lyon Biennale, and at Palais de Tokyo in Paris in 2006. 'A curator on our project team became aware of Sergio Vega through his work in Venice. We realized immediately that these themes would fit in perfectly with the idea behind this exhibition,' says museum director Dr. Hermann Arnhold. A new stage in this work in progress is now shown in Münster.

Beside Vegas Installation the exhibition "Destinations of Desire – Travelling with Artists" is divided into ten places of longing: Italy, Greece, the Orient, South America, the North, the South Seas, the Alps, Asia, North America, and the cities of Paris and New York. Visitors to the exhibition will take an imaginary journey these faraway lands together with well-known artists from the Middle Ages to the modern period.

What spurs artists to leave their homes and embark upon journeys of discovery? How did, and do, their travels affect their creative work? During three years of preparation for the exhibition, these and other questions have been researched by a team of ten curators and research associates led by museum director Dr. Hermann Arnhold. 'Whether we're talking about Albrecht Dürer in Venice, Peter Paul Rubens in Rome, Paul Gauguin in Tahiti, or Vincent van Gogh in Paris, artists' journeys frequently lead to turning points in their work and are regarded as fundamental artistic experiences,' explains Arnhold.

With some 2000 square metres of exhibition space in the historic museum building, 'Destinations of Desire' presents more than 250 artworks on loan from around the world. In addition to a comprehensive range of tours and workshops for children and adults, the exhibition offers a 'Travel Agency', which serves as visitors' one-stop resource for arts education and outreach.

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Orte der Sehnsucht / Destinations of Desire
Travelling with Artists

Künstler: Andreas Achenbach, Ansel Adams, Emile Bernard, Joseph Beuys, Albert Bierstadt, Carl Blechen, Jan Bruegel der Ältere, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Christo & Jeanne-Claude , Frederic Edwin Church, Camille Corot, Eugène Delacroix, Marcel Duchamp, Albrecht Dürer, Andreas Feininger, Anselm Feuerbach, Paul Gauguin, Claude Lorrain, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Vincent van Gogh, Gotthard Graubner, Jakob Philipp Hackert, Ferdinand Hodler, Edward Hopper, Alexander von Humboldt, Angelica Kauffmann, Ellsworth Kelly, André Kertész, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee, Max Klinger, Germaine Krull, Wilhelm Leibl, August Macke, Henri Matisse, Adolph von Menzel, Paula Modersohn-Becker,Claude Monet, Edvard Munch, Emil Nolde, Friedrich Overbeck, Max Pechstein, Christian Rohlfs, Peter Paul Rubens, Wilhelm von Schadow, Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, Emil Schumacher, Moritz von Schwind, Stephen Shore, Max Slevogt, Otto Steinert, Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, Werner Tübke, William Turner, Victor Vasarely, Sergio Vega ...