Partial Views: Recoding Sacred Objects

October 4, 2014 through February 13, 2015
New commissioned works by
Todd Bura
Rebeca Bollinger
Bryson Gill and
Ranu Mukherjee

To honor the Centennial of St. Ignatius Church at her current site, Manresa Gallery builds upon a long history of commissions dating back to the 19th century. Such endeavors generate exciting visual possibilities for enhanced spiritual meaning. They also convey a sense of limitation, if not humility, before inspiring transcendent objects. In Partial Views four artists engage the themes, styles and functions of various objects long associated with sacred rituals at St. Ignatius Church.

Rebeca Bollinger, Todd Bura, Bryson Gill and Ranu Mukherjee respond both to parish archival material and also to the liturgical objects themselves through a process of investigative storytelling and poetic gestures. The newly created works decode and clarify experiential ambiguities and sensual aspects of the church’s treasures; they offer alternate visual styles and materiality. While transposing their reactions into other media, the artists sustain a balance between the known and the unknowable, the earthly and the heavenly. Each conversant object imparts a partial view of a larger whole often not seen, underplayed or easily lost from sight.

The new works weave tangible threads into art which continues to respect sacred mystery. How do artists reveal broader, ever-enticing truths in light of what alters, obscures or blocks a fuller grasp of beauty and belief? Creating new objects that revel in incompleteness, the artists carefully and reverently wrestle with permeable intangibles that somehow become vehicles for the sacred.

Rebeca Bollinger created a site-specific light installation in response to the history of Jesuit Father Joseph Neri, who helped pioneer the first use of electric light in 1870’s San Francisco. Todd Bura approaches the here and there—where painting activates the metaphysic. Bryson Gill considers the fog as a metaphor for the converse of the sun, and their significance as a duality for things that are present and also hidden. Ranu Mukherjee responded to an antique Sodality Banner, addressing the body as apparition, and as a vehicle for visualization.

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