Contemporary artists facing the Christian mistery
The language of images has always been fundamental in both spiritual and cultural growth of the Church. The aim of the initiative “APPROCHING PATHS OF CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS FACING THE CHRISTIAN MISTERY” is that to try to fill the communication gap between art and faith, a gap that was created during the previous century. This project wants to show to the artistic world and to the ecclesial community how the contemporary artistic language can interpret mysteries of the Christian faith.
With the DEVOTIO support and under the coordination of p. Andrea Dall’Asta s.j. and Claudia Manenti, the project PATHS involves young artists with a good contemporary ability. According to that, it is commissioned to them a piece of art with a sacred subject. During the first edition, it was asked to these artists to realise a Marian image, while during the second edition it was asked to create a figurative work of a crucifix.
The need of reference images for Christian people’s walk of faith was first affirmed at the Council of Nicea, in 787, but then it was reiterated in the dogmatic constitution of the Vatican Council II - Sacrosanctum Concilium. At that time, it was affirmed that fine arts, above all religious art, were linked to the endless celestial beauty and this beauty had to be expressed by human works. The main objective of these pieces of art was that to lead human minds to God. (SC 122)
For that reason, all the works that are commissioned by DEVOTIO need to lift the spirit towards God and, of course, their meaning needs to be comprehensible as much as possible. By doing so, the proposal was that to try to propose a return to the figurative art of a high artistic quality and trying to fill the gap between artistic forms and religious sensitivity, a gap that was generated in the 20th Century.
Starting from the mission that was entrusted by the Church to artists, the PATHS initiative recommends a deep involvement of those artists among different stages. On these stages it is suggested an accurate itinerary into what is spiritual, iconographic and artistic. All of this has to deal with the Catholic figurative sensitivity. Besides, those young artists can have a confrontation with p. Andrea Dall’Asta s.j. and Claudia Manenti about how to better present a devotional image in a contemporary language.