Short stories inspiration for art exhibit

By The Mercury

The short stories of one of Latin America’s most celebrated writers are the inspiration for a new exhibition at Kansas State University’s Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art that explores the visual interpretation of fiction from a philosophical perspective.

“Painting Borges: Art Interpreting Literature” introduces viewers to vibrant paintings and works on paper by 16 contemporary Argentinean and Cuban artists who were inspired by the writings of Jorge Luis Borges. The exhibition runs March 7-May 18.

“For this exhibition, curator Jorge J.E. Gracia selected 24 artistic representations of 12 of Borges’ most famous stories about identity and memory, freedom and destiny, and faith and divinity,” said Theresa Bembnister, associate curator at the Beach Museum. “This philosophical exploration of how artists have interpreted literature makes new inroads into the understanding of Borges’ work.”

Gracia is the SUNY distinguished professor-University at Buffalo Samuel P. Capen chair. The exhibition is organized by the University at Buffalo and UB Galleries, Buffalo, N.Y.

FEATURED artists are Luis Cruz Azaceta, Alejandro Boim, Miguel Cámpora, Ricardo Celma, Laura Delgado, Héctor Destéfanis, Claudio D’Leo, Carlos Estévez, José Franco, Etienne Gontard, Mirta Kupferminc, Nicolás Menza, Mauricio Nizzero, Estela Pereda, Alberto Rey and Paul Sierra.

Summaries of Borges’ stories will be available in the gallery in both English and Spanish.

Visitors also can explore books and other materials related to Borges’ literature and philosophy in a special reading room adjacent to the exhibition. The reading room is made possible by a partnership with the K-State Libraries and curated by Thomas Bell, librarian.

An opening reception for “Painting Borges: Art Interpreting Literature” will be 5-7 p.m. Friday, March 7, at the museum. The public is welcome.

Other events related to exhibition, all at the Beach Museum, include:

• The film “Nostalgia for the Light” will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 27. Chile’s Atacama Desert, with zero humidity and located 10,000 feet above sea level, draws astronomers from all over the globe to view the skies through the world’s largest telescopes with the hope of uncovering the secrets of the universe. But beneath the Atacama’s dry soil are preserved layers of human remains spanning the pre-Colombian era to the bodies of those who disappeared after Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s 1973 military coup. “Nostalgia for the Light” follows the stories of families searching for their loved ones and the archeologists and astronomers who converge in this otherworldly place. The film will be presented in Spanish with English subtitles.

• The round table “Philosophy and Borges” will be from 4-6 p.m. Monday, April 7. Speakers will include Jorge Gracia, philosopher and curator; Diana Perez, philosopher; and Kansas State University’s James Hamilton, professor of philosophy, and Marcelo Sabates, associate professor of philosophy.

•* “Philosophy and Borges: A talk by Dr. Jorge Gracia” will be at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 8. Gracia is the Samuel P. Capen chair and SUNY distinguished professor in the departments of philosophy and comparative literature at the University at Buffalo.

• Slow Art Day will be 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 12. Look at art slowly in the “Painting Borges” exhibition. Bring your lunch and join others at noon for discussion; coffee and dessert provided. Information and registration is available at


THE BEACH Museum of Art is on the southeast corner of the Kansas State University campus at the corner of Anderson Avenue and 14th Street. Admission is free and the museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays and holidays. Free parking is available adjacent to the building.

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