I Saw It: Modern Artists Respond to Goya

I Saw It: Modern Artists Respond to Goya examines Francisco de Goya’s legacy as reflected in the work of five artists: Enrique Chagoya, Leon Golub, Pablo Picasso, Yinka Shonibare and Andy Warhol. Goya, who was active from the late 18th to early 19th century, translated Spain’s customs, politics and turmoil into images that were audacious and unconventional, mixing satire with empathy. As a printmaker, he reflected on the rapidly changing world in which he lived, positioning himself as an eyewitness to the spectacle. 

The artists in I Saw It draw on the visual language and themes developed by Goya, particularly in his famous etched series Los Caprichos, Los Desastres de la Guerra, La Tauromaquia and Los Disparates. Chagoya, Picasso and Shonibare borrow from his repertoire of iconic images but portray them in a new light. Golub and Warhol share Goya’s perspective of the artist as observer, responding to events of their time with imagery that is insightful and provocative. In this way, Goya’s haunting scenes continue to speak to artists who examine cultural identity, moral deterioration and the destructive power of political institutions.

I Saw It: Modern Artists Respond to Goya is on view in the Museum’s small Focus Gallery on the main level. It complements the concurrent exhibition I Saw It: Francisco de Goya, Printmaker.