Breaking Resemblance: The Role of Religious Motifs in Contemporary Art

Breaking Resemblance: The Role of Religious Motifs in Contemporary Art

by Alena Alexandrova


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In recent decades curators and artists have shown a distinct interest in religion, its different traditions, manifestations in public life, gestures and images. Breaking Resemblance explores the complex relationship between contemporary art and religion by focusing on the ways artists re-work religious motifs as a means to reflect critically on our desire to believe in images, on the history of seeing them, and on their double power— iconic and political. It discusses a number of exhibitions that take religion as their central theme, and a selection of works by Bill Viola, Lawrence Malstaf, Victoria Reynolds, and Berlinde de Bruyckere—all of whom, in their respective ways and media, recycle religious motifs and iconography and whose works resonate with, or problematize the motif of, the true image.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780823274475
Publisher: Fordham University Press
Publication date: 05/01/2017
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Alena Alexandrova is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, University of Bergen.

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Preface and Acknowledgments

Introduction: Situating Contemporary Art and Religion
1. Veronicas and Artists
2. Breaking the Religious Image: Re-Inventing Religion in Art
3. Between Critical Displacements and Spiritual Affirmations
4. Images Between Religion and Art
5. The Video Veronicas of Bill Viola
6. Images That Do Not Rest: The Installations of Lawrence Malstaf
7. Illusionism Cut: the Painting of Victoria Reynolds
8. The Body Recast: The Sculpture of Berlinde de Bruyckere


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