What to see at the Virtual Online Museum of Art in March

Launched last year, in the wake of the devastation caused to galleries and museums by the Covid-19, VOMA (Virtual Museum of Online Art) is the world’s first fully online museum. The principle is simple, but wonderful. VOMA preserves flagship works from the world’s most prestigious institutions – from the Musée d’Orsay to the Art Institute of Chicago – for you to consume in the comfort of your own home.

Given its unprecedented global reach, VOMA has welcomed users from over 50 countries and recorded half a million interactions with artwork. This spring, VOMA announced two new exhibits that come with a series of additional features, spaces and events, accessible via any device, including computer, tablet, phone or – si you feel especially adventurous – a VR headset.

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Launched on March 2, “Reclaiming the Body” brings together a global community of artists to explore ideas of control and perception when it comes to the female form so represented. It includes works by Cuban artist Ana Mendieta, Huguette Caland from Lebanon, British Ghanaian artist Adelaide Damoah and iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. American video artist Trulee Hall will also examine contemporary representations of femininity and female sexuality and these will all be contrasted with historical representations of mythical female icons by Artemesia Gentileschi, Sandro Botticelli and Peter Paul Rubens.

“The pillars of art history rest on problematic foundations – towering masterpieces with images rooted in classic European representations of male domination,” says Lee Cavaliere, director of VOMA. “This exhibition examines how this imagery has historically been able to contribute to integrating social prejudices against women into our cultural fabric, while presenting a new affirmation, in the renewal and recovery of the female body by contemporary artists.

The exhibition will be held alongside ‘Breaking into Color’, a riot of color and abstraction in modern and contemporary art which will also launch on March 2. The exhibition will assess the impact and expression of color in art and present works by Mark Rothko, Piet Mondrian and Yves Klein, looking at these pioneers of color field painting, alongside the abstractionist contemporary Michel Mouffe, abstract expressionist Joan Mitchell, Takashi Murakami’s bright, super-solids and color studies by Josef Albers. Boris Bucan and Neil Stokoe.
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Exhibits are just part of what this innovative museum has to offer this spring. New ‘spaces’ at this digital museum include the ‘Discoveries’ wall, which will showcase the best of daring emerging artists from around the world, and a collaboration with Artspace Sydney that will feature a video installation by renowned Spanish artist Dani Marti. VOMA will also install the Arc de Triomphe in Palmyra in Syria, destroyed by Isis in 2014 as part of a project by the Institute of Digital Archeology to digitize and preserve ancient monuments. This is a first seismic step in a much larger project aimed at bringing the experience of destroyed cultural artefacts to a global audience.

“The responses we have received are so amazing and we are so happy that so many people got to see these brilliant exhibits,” says artist Stuart Semple, who originally conceived the idea for VOMA. “It would be almost impossible to bring the works of art together into the physical world, so it was an incredible opportunity to create some truly unique conversations. It’s getting really viral in a way the art world hasn’t done in the past. “

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