Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Art Review: The art of religion: Corny, cynical and everything in between

By David Pagel
“The Basilisk,” installation view, Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles (Nicodim Gallery)
LOS ANGELES, CA---Thirty years ago at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, curator Maurice Tuchman organized an exhibition that explored the intersection of art and spirituality. “The Spiritual in Art: Abstract Painting 1890-1985” brought together about 250 works by nearly 100 artists to reveal that spirituality comes in all shapes, stripes and sizes. At Nicodim Gallery in Boyle Heights, “The Basilisk” channels Tuchman’s desire to link modern art to timeless spirituality. The problem is that “The Basilisk” ignores fundamental differences between art and religion, sociology and aesthetics, ethnographic displays and art exhibitions. Lumping everything together takes visitors back to the heyday of irony, when glib cynicism ruled and cleverness was everything. [More]