Friday, February 12, 2016

Art for Lent: Mark Rothko's "Untitled" (Lent, Day #3)

By Aaron Rosen
"Untitled" (1964-7) by Mark Rothko | USA; Dry pigments, polymer, rabbit-skin glue, and egg/oil emulsion on canvas, tri[tych, each [ane: 180 x 297 in.) North apse, Rothko Chapel, Houston, Texas
While it was posthumously dedicated as a nondenominational space, the chapel was originally intended to be Cathollic, a fact the artist willingly accepted. By grouping his works in triptychs, Mark Rothko encouraged viewers to approach them as they would a traditional altarpiece. This was not, however a repudiation of Judaism. Instead, working with the norms and expectations of a Christian space allowed Rothko the freedomt to investigate religious dimensions he felt uncomfortable addressing directly in a Jewish idiom. [page 12]

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Art for Lent: Andy Warhol's "The Last Supper" (Lent, Day #2)

By Aaron Rosen
"The Last Supper" (1986) by Andy Warhol. Synthetic polymer pain5 on canvas (119 x 263 in.)
Warhol first showed his "Last Supper" suite in a gallery opposite Milan's Santa Maria dell Grazie, which holds Leonardo's original. The seemingly cheeky superimposition of advertisements is in fact theologically astute. Dove soap provides an image of the Holy Spirit, while its price rage prompts us to consider the cost of grace, perhaps suggesting it comes too cheaply today. Meanwhile, General Electric's company logo summons its appropriate motto, "We bring good things to light." [page 11]

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Art for Lent: Paul Gauguin's "Where do we come from?" (Lent, Day #1)

By Aaron Rosen
Paul Gauguin, Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?, 1897-98, oil on canvas, 139.1 x 374.6 cm (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
Painted in Tahiti as a sort of last testament before a failed suicide attempt, Gauguin considered this work his masterpiece: in his words, 'a philosophical work...comparable to the Gospels'. Comparing it to a fresco, he explained that it was a story of spiritual and chronological progression, from the infant on the far right to the elderly woman on the left. In a fusion of mythologies, a blue idol mirros the central figure, seemingly reaching for a forbidden fruit. [page 10]

Fasting for a New Life: Daniel's Fast for Lent

By Ernest Disney-Britton
"Daniel the Prophet" by James C. Lewis | Series Icons of the Bible
For Lent 2016 I've chosen to observe Daniels fast, a partial fast adopted by the Prophet best-known for being tossed into the lion's den (Daniel 6:4-27) but also for a partial fast that improved his spirit and appearance (Daniel 1). There are three types of fasts: absolute, normal, and partial. Moses observed an absolute fast with no food or water, and Jesus observed a normal fast with no food. Daniel fasted from "royal food and wine" or meats, sweets, and wines. Atlanta artist James Lewis captures the story of Daniel the Prophet in his photograph of a healthy godly man.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

6 Things To Know About First Day of Lent: Ash Wednesday

By Maria G. Valdez
A devotee with a cross marked on her forehead takes part in the commemoration of Ash Wednesday outside a Roman Catholic church in Paranaque, Metro Manila in the Philippines.
This year, Ash Wednesday falls on February 10, 2016. It marks the start of Lent, a 40-day liturgical period of prayer and fasting or abstinence. On that day we will see many people walk around the street with a cross marked on their forehead. But, what does that really mean? Why do most Christians leave the ashes on until the end of the day? Here are 6 fast facts to explain it better. [link]