Installation shot of The Icon & the Iconic 
Installation shot of The Icon & the Iconic 
David Gurman, The Nicholas Shadow (2009)
Andy Warhol, Details of Renaissance Paintings (Leonardo da Vinci, The Annunciation, 1472), 1984
Angel Wings (19th century)

The Icon & the Iconic

April 2 – June 7, 2009

Tommy Becker, Serena Cole, David Gurman, Shari La Londe, Robert Lentz, Michail Petkov, Dmitry Shkolnik, Konstantin Zlatev, Dimosthenis Papadopoulos, Andy Warhol

The second exhibition at the Manresa Gallery explored how the symbol of the icon has had a long and broad history, particularly in modern times. Complementing a selection of older religious icons from Russia, Greece, Bulgaria and Egypt were newer ones from the United States. Riffing on such traditional images was Michail Petkov’s prints which fragmented and damaged similar symbols to signal both natural deterioration and secular insensitivity and aggression (objects for military target practice). Serena Cole used the icon concept (including a gilded background) and updated it to incorporate the image of a modern pop or fashion model. Andy Warhol’s pop variation on da Vinci’s “Annunciation” demonstrated a lightening adaptation and modifications to the potency of an icon in post-modern dress. Tommy Becker’s video of Internet people creating snow angels alternated between with those of the artist himself all in white and projecting those same images onto the floor of the church. In the same alcove were icons of traditional hierarchical guardian angels, messenger angels in a Chinese Christian scroll and, in suspended animation above, two large 19th c. wooden wings for an angel whose remaining body had fallen away.  The final image was centered in the fourth alcove. It was an icon bell. With an image of St. Nicholas, the bell clacker was hooked by a silk band to a smaller alert bell, itself connected to the Internet. Every hour the bell was set to ring the number of civilian deaths recorded the previous day in Iraq. In front of the bell was a transparent screen that captured the bell’s silhouette; that became the 2-dimensional symbol of a powerful call to reconciliation.

Programs + Events

The Use of the Icon in Devotion
A Contemporary Look at Traditional Icons
Fr. Stephen Meholick, Blagovest Bell Pealing and St. John of San Francisco Men’s Chorale