cover image God in the Modern Wing: Viewing Art with Eyes of Faith

God in the Modern Wing: Viewing Art with Eyes of Faith

Edited by Cameron J. Anderson and G. Walter Hansen. IVP Academic, $30 (260p) ISBN 978-0-8308-5069-3

In this revealing anthology, artist Anderson (Faith and Vision) and theologian Hansen (Through Your Eyes) collect essays that address a perceived divide between modern art and religious sentiment, claiming the divide itself is exaggerated. To that end, contributors probe consciously religious art produced by artists better known for more secular works, such as Marc Chagall’s White Crucifixion and Andy Warhol’s Last Supper series. Other pieces consider the religious lives of artists, such as David W. McNutt’s “Hidden in Pop,” which considers Warhol’s lifelong Catholicism. Most provocative are the essays that consider how modern art explores issues central to faith in ways that encourage viewers to “question glib religious cliches”: Makoto Fujimura’s “The Impossibility of Mark Rothko” on despair and hope in Rothko, Matthew J. Milliner’s “Chagall’s Cathedral” on idolatry in Marc Chagall and Rene Magritte, Joel C. Sheesley’s “Cubism” on absence and presence in Pablo Picasso. The book’s greatest strength is the way it encourages readers to look beyond cursory views of modern artists by learning more about their lives, breadth of work, and depth of creative conception. Those working in art criticism or modern theology will gain much from this illuminating work. (Oct.)