Review Round Up: Peru: A Journey in Time, British Museum

We take a look at what the critics have had to say about the British Museum’s latest exhibition.

detail from mantle depicting human figures with feline mouth masks holding severed heads, Early Nasca 100 BC-AD 100. Photograph: Museo de Arte de Lima. Prado Family Bequest. Restored with a grant from the Bank of America Art Conservation Project.

The Guardian: ***** “This exhibition takes you outside yourself, if you let it, into a world of predatory gods and magic music. The most amazing object is a giant clay drum, from the Nasca civilisation, painted with images of ritual war and sacrifice. Bewhiskered gnashing gods hold the heads of the defeated. Monkey-like zombies hang in the trees. Trophy heads are transformed into the spirits of ancestors. The scene is held together by writhing forms that are half-snake, half-cactus. It is like a manic masterpiece of street art.”

Evening Standard: ***** “The subtitle to the British Museum’s wonderful exhibition on Peru is A Journey in Time, and what’s evident is that the timescale here is greater than those of us outside the country might have thought. “Peru” conjures up Incas, but what’s apparent is that the Incas were only at the tail end of the pre-colonial story. This exhibition begins about 1,200 BC with the peoples who inhabited modern Peru and ends with the last of the conquistadors, the Spanish.”

iNews: ***** “While it’s easy to be wowed by the sophistication of early Andean culture, part of this show’s conceit is to break with the linear European concept of progress, and to explore time as parallel, cyclic, a continuum.”

The Times: **** “Cross the Andes and find a treasure trove of art and culture in the British Museum’s autumn show.”

The Telegraph: **** “It can be overly dewy-eyed, but this exhibition of masks, pottery and gold ornaments offers astonishing insights into Andean societies.”

Peru: A Journey in Time is on display at the British Museum from the 11th November until the 20th February.

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