Four Saints in Three Acts
“Four Saints in Three Acts” takes its title from an unconventional 1920s opera. Written by Virgil Thomson, with a libretto by Gertrude Stein and stage design by artist Florine Stettheimer, the play “marked a modernist, avant-garde take on the depiction of saints,” said Widholm. “In that same spirit, I wanted to consider how contemporary art intersects with notions of belief and faith, while expanding who is represented in these venerated aesthetic traditions,” she said. For the group exhibition, Widholm will bring together work from contemporary artists including Devin Mays, Dan Ramirez, Rodrigo Lara Zendejas, Jeni Spota C., Kehinde Wiley, Nate Young and Andrea Büttner.
“Though the art world today tends to be very secular, the influence of religious iconography endures,” said Widholm. “Many of these artists are using iconography to critically explore their relationships to religion. It’s very personal.”
Lara Zendejas’s “Chapel” is a room-sized, cathedral-shaped installation that houses saintly sculptures of iconic 20th century artists such as Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. A Mexican-born artist who now hails from Chicago, Zendejas was raised Catholic, and this work is a reflection of his personal history and decision to devote his life to art.
“Faith and belief are vital to the life of an artist,” said Widholm. “These works ask whom we venerate, revere and why. We also want to contemplate how saints and artists both create a legacy that outlives their life.”
Admission is free at DePaul Art Museum, located at 935 W. Fullerton, just east of the CTA’s Fullerton ‘L’ stop. Museum hours are Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. For more on DePaul Art Museum’s upcoming exhibitions and events, call 773-325-7506 or visit http://museums.depaul.edu/.