Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art

Ridgefield, CT




Faith: The Impact of Judeo-Christian Religion on Art at the Millennium

January 23 - May 29, 2000


"Faith: The Impact of Judeo-Christian Religion on Art at the Millennium" explores the complex ways in which contemporary artists examine and interpret the Jewish and Christian traditions. This exhibition highlights recent tendencies in art that are often ignored in the current art discourse because of implicit prohibitions in the largely secular art world and the potentially controversial nature of religious interpretation. As many Americans identify themselves as either Jewish or Christian, the focus on these traditions is on one level mainstream, and yet, within the art world, a radical departure from the more prevalent interests in Eastern philosophy and secular concerns.

left to right: Father John B. Giuliani, Jesus and His Disciples, 1995, acrylic on gessoed wood, 23 x 48 inches, Collection of Jane and Timothy McCaffrey, Westport, CT; Father John B. Giuliani, Holy Virgin and Child, 1995, acrylic on gessoed wood, 48 x 23 1/8 inches, Courtesy of the artist; Lisa Bartolozzi, The Marking of Foreheads, 1994, oil ink, beeswax on panel, 9 1/2 x 17 x 3 1/4 inches, Collection of Creighton Michael and Leslie Cecil, Mt. Kisco, New York

Curated by artists Christian Eckart, Osvaldo Romberg, and The Aldrich Museum's director Harry Philbrick, this group exhibition also incorporates off-site installations at three local churches and a synagogue. The curators have chosen works by living artists who view the creative process as an act of faith, or who alternately use art as a vehicle to critique religion and express doubt. The works amassed will be in a full range of media, and together will illustrate the complexity of religious beliefs at the end of the millennium.

left to right: Rev. Ethan Acres, Miracle at La Brea, 1997, screenprint on mylar stretched on plexiglas support, 92 x 48 inches, Collection of Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Purchase Fund; Lyle Ashton Harris, Untitled (Face #50 Father Pierre), 1998/99, unique polaroid prints, 20 x 24 inches, Courtesy of the artist; Lyle Ashton Harris, Untitled (Back #50 Father Pierre), 1998/99, unique polaroid prints, 20 x 24 inches, Courtesy of the artist

The group exhibition will include artwork made within the last five years by at least twenty artists, among whom are the following contemporary artists, representing six countries: Rev. Ethan Acres, Hèlene Aylon, Lisa Bartolozzi, Willie Bester, Sylvie Blocher, Barbara Broughel, Petah Coyne, Christian Eckart, Linda Ekstrom, Roland Fischer, Father John B. Giuliani, Clara Gutsche, Lyle Ashton Harris, Christof Klute, Jan Knap, Kinke Kool, Nicholas Kripal, Justen Ladda, Maria Marshall, Keith Milow, Hermann Nitsch, Manuel Ocampo, Jaume Plensa, the collaborative team of Bettina Rheims and Serge Bramly, Matthew Ritchie, Osvaldo Romberg, Diane Samuels, Andres Serrano, Claude Simard, Francesc Torres, Michael Tracy, Lane Twitchell, Allan Wexler, and Jo Yarrington.

"Faith: The Impact of Judeo-Christian Religion on Art at the Millennium" has been made possible by the first Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award issued by The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation (Meriden, CT). The Aldrich Museum is one of two institutions to have received support from this foundation for exhibition funding.

The exhibition is accompanied by a full-color catalogue with essays by Christian Eckart, Eleanor Heartney, author and contributing editor to Art in America, Osvaldo Romberg, and Ori Soltes, independent curator and professorial lecturer at Georgetown University, Departments of Theology and Art. Several months prior to the opening of the Faith exhibition, The Aldrich Museum presented a symposium addressing the exhibition's theme, and excerpts from the discussion also appear in the catalogue.

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