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The Marvellous Real: Art from Mexico

Monday, November 4th, 2013 — 6:04pm PDT
Comments 30

The Museum of Anthropology at UBC recently opened a new exhibition, The Marvellous Real: Art from Mexico, 1926-2011. On until March next year, The Marvellous Real features 55 artworks that capture the idea of the “marvellous real”, a term coined by Cuban writer and ethno-musicologist, Alejo Carpentier (1904 – 1980). The term is used to describe a particular kind of magic realism that is manifest in the arts and everyday life of Latin America.

Carlos Amorales, Sin título (Untitled) (detail) 2004. Image courtesy of the Museum of Anthropology.

Eluding the expected through bizarre amalgamations, improbable juxtapositions, and fantastic correlations, the marvellous real is, as Carpentier said, “neither beautiful nor ugly; rather, it is amazing because it is strange.”

Drawn from the FEMSA Collection in Mexico, the exhibition includes works by Dr. Atl, Leonora Carrington, Jean Charlot, Juan O’Gorman, Alice Rahon, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Juan Soriano, and Rufino Tamayo, as well as a younger generation of visual artists like Carlos Amorales, Sandra Cabriada, Claudia Fernández, Adela Goldbard, Yishai Jusidman, Alejandro Santiago and Francisco Toledo. Curated by Dr. Nicola Levell (Assistant Professor, Anthropology, UBC).

The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the FEMSA Collection, the Agencia Mexicana de Cooperación International Para el Desarrollo, the Consulado General de México en Vancouver, the Ollin Mexican Canadian Association for Arts, Culture and Education, and the Fundación Alejo Carpentier.

The MOA galleries and shop (at 6393 NW Marine Drive at UBC) are open daily from 10:00am to 5:00pm and until 9:00pm on Tuesdays.

If you would like to visit the The Marvellous Real exhibit I have a pair of passes to give away (valid until March 30, 2014). Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win tickets to The Marvellous Real at @MOA_UBC from @Miss604

Follow the Museum of Anthropology on Twitter and Facebook for more information about this exhibit and other happenings at the museum. I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 5:00pm on Friday, November 8, 2013.

Update The winner is Angie N!

Current contests on


  1. Gerald says:

    MOA is doing a great job of exhibiting art from various countries. I look forward to seeing these works from Mexico!

  2. Jas says:

    The MOA has been on my visit list for ages! Would love to check out the amazing exhibit!

  3. Linda says:

    The MOA is a great place to visit. I would love to see this exhibit.

  4. Krista says:

    The MOA is one of my favourite places to visit on a rainy day. I’ve been looking forward to this exhibit. Thank you so much for the giveaway!

  5. Evelyn says:

    What an arresting image! I bet the rest of the exhibit will be equally provoking 😀 Would love to go!

  6. Leah A. says:

    I would like to see the younger generation of visual artists…

  7. Angie N. says:

    Visiting the MOA has been on my list for a long, long time! Having tickets to this exhibit would be the perfect incentive to finally do so.

  8. Michelle W. says:

    Sounds fun!

  9. Roanna Z says:

    I’m in. Looks interesting!

  10. jan says:

    would love to attend

  11. KayKay says:

    love anything to do with UBC

  12. Sanaz says:

    I’d love to visit!

  13. Michelle C says:

    Would make a great Christmas gift!

  14. Kai Yan Chau says:

    Would love to take my parents!

  15. leah says:

    I’ve never been. This would be insteresting to see!

  16. Nancy says:

    I haven’t been for a long time and would love to go again.

  17. Bryan says:

    Looks like a great event!

  18. Debbie says:

    Enjoyed their Peruvian Silver Exhibit. Would love to see this one too.

  19. Mandy says:

    This would be very cool!

  20. Deb says:

    The MOA is wonderful, it’s been many years since I visited

  21. Tracy says:

    Would love to go! I haven’t been there for ages.

  22. Anne Guagliardo says:

    I would love to bring my roomie there 🙂

  23. Katie says:

    Me please! Would love to go see this exhibition

  24. MatthewV says:

    Love the MOA, and that they are expanding their reach and showcases! Such a stunning place, in setting and collection.

  25. Teresa K says:

    I’d love to win.

  26. Caresse says:

    I checked out the MOA earlier this year and loved it! I would love to go back to check out this new exhibit.

  27. L. J , Lawton says:

    Hola. I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon.

  28. Erin says:

    Looks like fun!

  29. Mary Rose says:

    this would be so awesome!!

  30. Heather Hess says:

    What a great website – I love promoting Mexican art too – I very much love Siquieros and Frida and Diego and the list goes on ……

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