Thursday, November 30, 2017

Far from the Museum of the Bible, these artists use the Good Book as their medium

Detail from Meg Hitchcock's "Throne: The Book of Revelation." 2012. Permission by Meg Hitchcock
In 2015, Montreal-based artist Guy Laramée placed a large-format Bible from the 19th century upright with the spine open. Then, using a power grinder, he carved a landscape into the pages and painted along the curvatures, evoking the space of a cave whittled into a sheer mountainside. It is a beautiful summoning of desert spaces, conjuring the place of the biblical prophets. It is, however, an unusual treatment of the Good Book. And it is one that would never find its way to the $500 million Museum of the Bible, opening Friday (Nov. 17) in Washington, D.C. That museum is dedicated to the preservation and presentation of the sacred text through the ages. Laramée, along with a number of contemporary artists, has been working with books not as muse, but as medium. You could call these artists book lovers, but only in the way that you could call Michelangelo a marble lover or Edward Scissorhands a tree lover. [More]
Guy Laramée, “The Holy Bible (The Arid Road to Freedom).” 2015. Photo by Alain Lefort. Courtesy of JHB Gallery, New York