The Spring issue of Art and Christianity Enquiry‘s journal is out now, a rich source of interesting writing and reflection about art and faith today from this hugely valuable network based in the UK. I hope these notes of what is in the publication will whet your appetite and complement the detail of the articles.
The journal includes an article discussing art in interfaith dialogue by Rosalind Parker, in which she reviews and discusses a book on the subject by Ruth Illman ‘Art and Belief: Artists engaged in Interreligious Dialogue’ and a project which Parker herself curated in 2011: Art and faith: New ways of Seeing?‘ in Cambridge as well as giving additional thought to the subject.
There is an article by Sheona Beaumont, on photography as a kind of visual theology in the work of photographers shown in three recent exhibitions: Ansel Adams: Photography from the Mountains to the Sea’ at the National Maritime Museum on until 2rd April ; ‘Light from the Middle East: New Photography’ on at the V&A until 7th April and ‘Seduced by Art: Photography Past and Present’ which finished recently at the National Gallery, London.
There are also exhibition reviews, including one by Jonathan Koestle-Cate on the recent exhibition ‘Death’ at the Wellcome Institute on the iconography of death. There is a review of the exhibition last year at the Lighthouse Institute, Glasgow, ‘Churches in the Modern World: Roman Catholic Architecture in Britain 1955-75’ ,which coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the beginnings of preparation of the council document on the liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium This is reviewed by Fr Jim Lawlor. There is also a review of the current exhibition Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective’ at the Tate until 27th May, by Dr James Romaine of ASCHA, and Nyack University, NY
There is also a really interesting article by Stephen Bann, of Bristol University, on a new French publication ‘Zodiaque, Le Monument Livre’ celebrating the Zodiaques series of books about regional Romanesque art in France which began with Burgundy in 1954 and then the Auvergne in 1955 and went on to survey all the different regions. Stephen Bann recalls the important contribution the Zodiaques books made to popularising Romanesque architecture and distinguishing it from the Gothic in the popular imagination as more rooted in the land and locality, and regional in style. He notes the importance of Dom Angelico Surchamp, artist and monk at the Benedictine Abbaye de la Pierre-Qui-Vire, who had founded a magazine Zodiaque in 1950, which then gave its name to the later series, and who supervised the publication of the books on French Romanesque until the end of the last century. Living as a monk and artist in the mid 20th century, his recollections give weight, freshness as well as continued significance and value to the vision of the L’art sacre movement in France of the time. The new publication includes an interview with Dom Angelico by the editor Cedric Lesec and other authors have contributed to the publication celebrating the series; Roland Recht, on the use of B/W photography and Olivier Deloignon on the spiritual value of book design. An essay published elsewhere in French on the Zodiaques series: ‘Une breviaire photographique. Les editions Zodiaque au XXieme siecle’ by Cedric Lesec gives some insight into the originality, beauty and simplicity of the books and their photos, which reflected the simplicity of the architecture itself. Stephen Bann’s recollections of his own experience of touring in France in those years, and of the Zodiaques guides add interest to this detailed article.
There are also comprehensive book reviews by Graham Howes of ‘Bernini: Art as Theatre‘ by Genevieve Warwick and ‘Icons of the Holy Monastery of Karakallou, Moutn Athos’, edited by Euthymios Tsigaridas and of ‘Where Heaven and Earth Meet. The Spiritual in the art of Kandinsky, Rothko, Warhol and Kiefer’ by Wessel Stoker, reviewed by Charles Pickstone.
The journal also includes news and notices of forthcoming events, further details of which are already available or will be soon on the ACE website.