ArtWay

Art is the John the Baptist of the heart, preparing its affections for Christ. Jacques Maritain

Lorenzo Quinn: Trust

ArtWay Visual Meditation November 7, 2021

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Lorenzo Quinn: Trust

The Language of Hands

by Natascha de Goey

When I first saw this little sculpture in a gallery, I was profoundly moved. A vulnerable woman resting in the hand of her Creator.

According to the artist Lorenzo Quinn, hands are technically the greatest challenge of the human body to sculpt. That could well be, as they are marked by life and tell so much about the owner. Hands are capable of so much. According to Quinn they have the power to love and cherish, but also to hit and hurt.

Perhaps this is why the woman has placed her arm across her body. Scarred by life, she looks as if she does not dare to surrender herself completely to the loving hand that is holding her. 

Quinn made his largest and most conspicuous work in 2019 for the Venice Biennale – an archway bridge of six pairs of gigantic hands. It is 20 metres long and 15 metres high. 

Each pair pictures a universal value that is essential for a dignified and joyful existence. From left to right:  

The first pair – palms together – representing friendship.

The second pair – an old hand and a young hand holding on to each other – representing the passing on of wisdom and knowledge. 

The third pair – two hands grasping each other – representing mutual help and holding on tight.

The fourth pair – a small hand grasps the hand of a parent – representing faith.

The fifth pair – hands with fingers interlaced – representing hope.

The sixth pair – fingertips touching each other – representing love. 

Quinn chose to build a bridge because Venice has so many bridges. But bridges are also a symbol for connection. They offered Quinn the possibility of spreading a universal message of peace and unity during the biennale. His faith in God and his deep longing for a pure conscience, in spite of human imperfections, translated into a call to build more bridges and fewer walls.

Apart from the work for the Biennale in Venice, he has also enriched the Vatican, the Climate Change Conference COP25 of the UN in Madrid, and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg with his works of art. Quinn is able to reach millions of people with both his small and large works.

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Lorenzo Quinn: Trust, 2002, bronze on a marble pedestal, 19 x 31 x 25 cm.

Lorenzo Quinn: Building Bridges, 2019, polystyrene and polyurea, 20 x 15 m, Venice Biennale. 

Lorenzo Quinn is an Italian artist and former actor born in 1966 in Rome. He is a son of the actor Antony Quinn. Inspired by artists such as Bernini, Michelangelo and Rodin he developed into a figurative sculptor. He studied at the Art Academy of Fine Arts in New York City, NY, USA. Quinn is inspired by every-day, ordinary life. He aims to portray emotions in an aesthetically balanced manner. He is best known for his large statues of human hands. https://www.lorenzoquinn.com 

Natascha de Goey is a Dutch district nurse and author with a missionary heart and an emerging passion for art with a story. 

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ART NEWS INTERNATIONAL

1. ARTWAY – We have just posted a new blog by Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker about The Seven Works of Mercy in Art. “This overview will show that these artworks from different ages mirror the theological ideas and the charitable works of their times.” Read more

2. VATICAN CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERY – The Vatican is opening a contemporary art gallery with a space for temporary exhibitions, hosted in its historic papal library. Pope Francis has inaugurated the new space on  November 5. The first exhibition is by Pietro Ruffo, titled EVERYONE: Humanity on its way, including a site-specific installation that will transform the space “into a lush tropical forest.” Read more

3. GLEN WORKSHOP 2022 – The 2022 Glen Workshop will happen in Asheville, North Carolina July 24-30, 2022. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Glen Workshop combines the best elements of a craft workshop, arts festival, and spiritual retreat. Artists, writers, musicians, patrons of the arts, and spiritual wayfarers of all stripes are welcome. In 2022 there will be classes in a wide array of creative disciplines, including fiction, ceramics, calligraphy, Jewish poetry, lyric essay, and more. All taught by celebrated artists, writers, and scholars. Register today using the code EARLYBIRD to save $200 off any full-price registration. Discount offer runs through November 26. See the workshops here

4. DRAWINGS ALASTAIR GORDON FOR SALE – Alastair Gordon presents seven new drawings for sale. These small works on paper mark the beginning of a new series concerning the theme of the island. Drawn from observation in East Lothian and Portsmouth and completed in the studio, they are a combination of gestural or intuitive responses to landscape integrated with my signature trompe l’oeil motifs of masking tape and pencil. In a sense, they are drawings about the process of drawing itself: looking, responding and being connected to the natural landscape. In a year of isolation, they might also serve as an allegory for our socio-political status. Who we are, what we have become and how an island can be simultaneously a paradise retreat, hermitage, prison or escape. All works are ink, graphite, coloured pencil and shellac on 300g Fabriano Artistico watercolour paper, measuring 30 x 23cm. All priced at £220 (plus P&P) with proceeds going towards the publication of a new sketchbook project currently in development. Further details can be seen on my website.

5. THE UNTOLD STORY OF C.S. LEWIS – New film focused on the earlier years of Lewis' life. The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C.S. Lewis is directed by two-time Emmy and BAFTA winner Norman Stone. 

6. PETER HOWSON EXHIBIT IN LONDON – Until 20 November, Flowers (Cork Street), 21 Cork St, London: Peter Howson: Phlegethon. The exhibition of apocalyptic paintings and drawings draws its title from the mythical river Phlegethon, known as the ‘river of fire’, which featured notably as a site of punishment in Dante’s Divine Comedy. Throughout his career, Howson has tackled the subject of human conflict and destruction, both in his role as a former official war artist and in his observations of everyday struggles. In the exhibition Phlegethon, Howson explores themes of prophecy, suffering and redemption, aligning his harrowing vision of contemporary crisis with a collision of references stemming from medieval literature, Renaissance poetry and 20th century science fiction. Tu – Sa, 11 – 18 h. Read more

7.  RELIGIOUS ARCHITECTURE AFTER 1666 IN LONDON – 11 November, 5-7pm, Online via Zoom: Religious Architecture and Visual Culture in London After the Fire of 1666, organised by The Queen Mary Centre for Religion and Literature in English. In this seminar (the first QMCRLE seminar for 2021-22), Dr Matthew Walker (QMUL) and Dr Mark Kirby (Oxford) will discuss the processes of building and furnishing churches in London in the later seventeenth century and early eighteenth century with a focus on the interplay of social dynamics and religious and aesthetic considerations in the churches of Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor. Register here

8. ART, GARDENING AND THE GOSPEL – 15 November, 21 h, Morphe Arts Make Good event, online: Art, gardening and the gospel. Meet artist Makoto Fujimura and writer / musician Andrew Peterson as they have conversation with Alastair and Natali. From the moment of creation and the garden of Eden to the garden city of the New Jerusalem, God’s Word presents a symbiotic relationship between human beings, the natural world and artistic expression. In Christ all things are made and redeemed through his cross. Join us as we discuss how artists today might draw from this eternal reality that art, gardening and the gospel matter in the Kingdom of God. Register here

9. THEOLOGY, IMAGINATION AND THE ARTS COURSE – 6 December – 9 December, Sarum College, 19 The Close, Salisbury, UK: Theology, Imagination and the Arts course. In this module students will have the opportunity to learn about historical and cultural developments in the field of theological aesthetics. We will reflect theologically together on works of art (including visual art, performance art, music, and so on), and will also consider theological accounts of the imagination. Students will learn about how Christian doctrine has been shaped by art throughout history. Sessions this year include: with Dr Jayme Reaves, we will discuss reading the Bible as literature, and how doing so opens up new questions to explore. Dr Reaves will also lead our thinking about reading the Bible in literature, investigating how literature uses biblical concepts. With Dr Matthew Mills, we will consider how Mary is depicted as beautiful, both in material representations and in theological discourse. If you are interested in the creative arts and human imagination from a theological perspective, whether you are a practitioner or not, this module is for you. This is a postgraduate course open to ‘auditors’ e.g. those not enrolled for academic credit. Read more

For more exhibitions, lectures, conferences etc., click here

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