Jimmy Mac sent me this link on the Vatican wading into the play in contemporary art. Laura Gascoigne on the move:
With the Vatican also planning participation in this autumn’s Venice Biennale of Architecture, it appears to be announcing a new post-modern era of church patronage, in which cutting-edge ecclesiastical buildings such as Renzo Piano’s Padre Pio Pilgrimage Church in Foggia will be filled with equally cutting-edge art. If so, it’s a welcome change of direction after a century of half-baked modernism that must surely mark the nadir of ecclesiastical art. The only question is, why suddenly now? Maybe the Vatican is tired of hearing art galleries hailed as the new churches and gallery-going as the new form of Sunday worship, and feels that it’s time to snatch the initiative back.
What kind of art do you think the Vatican would patronize? Do you suppose it would be a rehashing of traditional forms and ideas? 300 or 500-year imitations done with the latest tools and techniques? Or something rather avant garde?
Laura Gascoigne again:
With the galloping commercialisation of contemporary art, there’s a crying need for independent patrons who take the long view and are not in the market to make a quick buck. The Church could be just such a patron, championing the cause of a spiritual, slow-burning art, an art designed not for provocation or instant gratification but for contemplation – an art, like the great church art of the past, made to last.