The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Thursday, July 31, 2014


Great war commemorative sculptures at St. Paul's Cathedral by Gerry Judah
Judah wants us to see in these works the waste and pity of all wars; perhaps especially he wants to suggest that the current Middle Eastern wars are to an extent the consequence of that First World War, of the chopping up of the Ottoman Empire that followed it. Photo: David Barbour.
LONDON.- Gerry Judah’s twin sculptures in the nave of St Paul’s Cathedral have been erected to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War. Their white cruciform shapes evoking the meticulously maintained war graves of northern France and further afield, in fact represent an utterly contemporary questioning of the continued need for warfare.

Bearing the shells of bombed out residential blocks, Judah's crosses bring to mind the horrors of total war, to images of which we have become almost inured. They ask us to think of Verdun, Hamburg or Hiroshima, of Beirut, Baghdad or Homs. The wantonness and wastefulness they represent should also remind us of the ravaged earth of the First World War, of the millions of young men sacrificed defending or attacking mere yards of mud.

Judah wants us to see in these works the waste and pity of all wars; perhaps especially he wants to suggest that the current Middle Eastern wars are to an extent the consequence of that First World War, of the chopping up of the Ottoman Empire that followed it.

In the damaged buildings there is a further element, too, of revelation, for destruction is a kind of perverse archaeology. Bombs expose the private, the personal, the intimate; the skin of a building ripped away to show lived lives ended in a single blast. Mass deaths are made of thousands of individual tragedies.

This is public art unafraid of the obvious, not footling with self-expression or abstract aesthetics, but with the world as it was and as it is. And yet in the embedded themes are the great abstracts: God, life, death, love, despair and hope.

St Paul’s Cathedral itself is of course not unfamiliar with conflict. The current building is the fifth Cathedral. The first was built on the site of a temple dedicated to the Roman goddess Diana. The second St Paul’s was destroyed by the Vikings. And just after Christmas 1940, the Luftwaffe dropped twenty-eight incendiary bombs on or around the Cathedral, almost all of which were defused before exploding. Its survival was miraculous, and memorably expressed in Herbert Mason’s famous photograph of the dome intact above the smoke of blitzed London.

But war is rarely as simple as good versus evil, and the multiple ambiguities in Gerry Judah's art brings home to us this fact. While the work might initially suggest that we have learned little, on reflection the very existence of the Cathedral and of the art that adorns it, both Judah’s and that of previous artists, represents a triumph of hope over despair, and an unflagging determination to make the world a more peaceful place.

Canon Mark Oakley, Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, says: “Gerry Judah’s striking sculptures confront us with the reality of a War that saw thousands and thousands of young people from around the world buried with white crosses over their remains. They also provoke us into interrogating the present world and the landscapes we casually view on the news every day, scarred and agonised by military hate in the hearts and minds of those who survive. Gerry Judah’s work ruptures the symmetry of the Cathedral just as war works breaks down human harmony. Placed where they are, we are invited to walk through them, and the failure and pain they represent, into a sacred space of hope where people in all our diversity are invited to come together to worship, to respect and to learn from each other. It is a work that starkly asks of us what it must now mean for us to be loyal to our shared future.”



Today's News

April 20, 2014

Retrospective is the first to encompass Sigmar Polke's works across all mediums

"Face Value: Portraiture in the Age of Abstraction" opens at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington

Dusty home town remembers writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez with plenty of rum

The Broad announces Contemporary art acquisitions; 89 works added in the past two years

Exhibition at Whatcom Museum includes famed artists Warhol, Lichtenstein, Haring and more

Exhibition of drawings and works on paper by Manfred Müller opens at ROSEGALLERY

Exhibition at Raven Row brings together significant works from the sixties to the present

Invaluable and China's EpaiLive bring together art & auction markets of the East and the West

Exhibition of new works by Sherrie Levine opens at the Paula Cooper Gallery

Exhibition brings renowned quilts and exploration of color theory to Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Boston-based artist Taylor Davis opens exhibition at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

The Riverboat Collection of territorial gold offered by Heritage Auctions at CSNS

DLI Museum and Durham Art Gallery open exhibitions of works by Theodore Major

David Kordansky Gallery's first exhibition of work by Mary Weatherford opens in Los Angeles

Warning shots: A royal gun for sale at Bonhams

Great war commemorative sculptures at St. Paul's Cathedral by Gerry Judah

Anne Doran's first solo exhibition at Invisible-Exports opens in New York

The golden light: Fred Torres Gallery presents the work of Olivia Boudet

Artworks by Chabas, Neale will be part of Ahlers & Ogletree's June 7-8 Auction

Sarah O Donnell's first museum exhibition opens at BYU's Museum of Art

British filmmaker opens Moscow show under Ukraine shadow

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Archaeologists discover Roman 'free choice' cemetery in the 2,700-year-old ancient port of Rome

2.- Romanians must pay 18 million euros over Kunsthal Museum Rotterdam art heist

3.- Hello Kitty designer Yuko Yamaguchi defends cute character as cat turns 40 years old

4.- eBay and Sotheby's partner to bring world class art and collectibles to a global community

5.- Exhibition on Screen returns with new series of films bringing great art to big screens across the globe

6.- Marina Abramović reaches half way point of her '512 Hours' performance at the Serpentine Gallery

7.- The Phillips Collection in Washington introduces a uCurate app for curating on-the-go

8.- United States comic icon Archie Andrews dies saving openly gay character

9.- New feathered predatory fossil, unearthed in China, sheds light on dinosaur flight

10.- Exhibition at Thyssen Bornemisza Museum presents an analysis of the concept of the 'unfinished'



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Rmz. - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site