Down to the Wire: Just $7,963 left to match to win our Challenge Grant. Your gift will still be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

transgressive

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jun 22, 2006

Notes on contemporary fine arts, from the Wall Street Journal (June 20):

In this year's summer show at London's Royal Academy of Arts, "Exhibit 1201" is a large rectangular tablet of slate with a tiny barbell-shaped bit of boxwood on top. Its creator, David Hensel, must be pleased to have been selected from among some 9,000 applicants for the world's largest open-submission exhibit of contemporary art. Nevertheless, he was bemused to discover that in transit his sculpture had gotten separated from its base. Judging the two components as different submissions, the Royal Academy had rejected his artwork proper -- a finely wrought laughing head in jesmonite -- and selected the plinth. "It says something about the state of visual arts today," said Mr. Hensel. He didn't say what. He didn't need to.

Moreover, the Royal Academy denies having made an error, for the plinth and hastily carved wooden support were, according to an official statement, "thought to have merit."

For those who despair that artists these days seem to have lost the skill of fashioning meticulously crafted objects, don't blame Mr. Hensel. While the slate base took only four hours to hack from a mortuary slab, and the little boxwood prop less than an hour, he had painstakingly carved and polished that laughing head for two months. ...

"The sculpture is a mixture of heavy stone with a light piece of wood on top," the Daily Telegraph quoted a Dane as explicating last week while admiring the plinth. "I like the total effect. It is a really nice contrast."

Doctor Moneo, call your office.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($59,447 to go):
$150,000.00 $90,553.12
40% 60%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Jun. 24, 2006 12:07 AM ET USA

    Are you suggesting, Uncle Di, that the new cathedral actually got lost in transit, and what they have have in Los Angeles is only the foundation? Weird looking foundation, but it makes me feel better, in a way. Have they tried submitting it to the Royal Academy of Arts?

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Getting Marriage Right 10 hours ago
O Earthly Lord, vouchsafe to us high speed Internet. 13 hours ago
No 'Francis effect' in Strasbourg 17 hours ago
What Pope Francis told European Parliament, and what Pope John Paul II said 19 hours ago
Public perception demands a way of mercy November 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - 22 hours ago