A photo by Lalla Essaydi.
The San Diego Museum of Art is opening two exhibitions on Friday that range from the birth of printmaking in Europe to elaborate modern photographic works.

The first exhibit, “Divine Desire: Printmaking, Mythology and the Birth of the Baroque,” features more than 70 engravings produced in Northern Europe and Italy in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Each print features imagery from classical mythology, with a focus on the romantic entanglements of the gods and goddesses of the Greek and Roman pantheons.

Printmaking became a popular medium for artists in the late 16th century because its portability and the ability to reach a broad audience.  

The second exhibit, “Lalla Essaydi: Photographs, 2005–13,” features 10 large-scale photographs from the Moroccan-born, New York–based photographer. The artist’s work explores the issues surrounding the role of women in Arab culture and their representation in the Western European artistic tradition.

The photographs are based on 19th-century Orientalist paintings, but work to subvert those traditional stereotyped and sexualized representations. Each of the almost life-size images required weeks of preparation by the artist.

The museum in Balboa Park is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. It’s closed on Wednesday.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.