new-york

“Saints”

Harm Bouckaert Gallery

The decline of the saints as subject matter for painting has hardly been precipitous. It would seem that sainthood itself has been eroded by the forgetfulness of folk memory as well as by Vatican debunking—Saint Christopher is now in the same league with Santa Claus. And the admission of new members to the saint population has slowed to a trickle. Well, the “Saints” show is not going to stir up a sudden revival of religious painting, but it did show that sainthood is still an excellent source of subject matter for art.

Twenty-nine artists depicted more or less as many saints. There was also a demon or two, a few Christs, and one Cathedral, 1983. The latter, by Mike Bidlo, is for no saint in particular unless it is Saint Jackson. It consists of a facsimile of the 1947 Pollock painting of the same name, framed in a shrine construction, with steps below the canvas to hold votive candles and

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