Dayton Memorial Library, Doyle and Margaret Hartman Gallery, through March 31, 2016
CRUCIFIXION MEDITATIONS is an exhibition of drawing prints by John Steczynski (M.F.A. Yale) and Aileen Callahan(M.F.A. Boston University). Both artists are affiliated with the Fine Arts Department of Boston College (Callahan teaches currently and Steczynski is recently retired), and both treat the Crucifixion as a vehicle for spiritual prayerful reflection which is removed from political perspectives.
These drawings have been exhibited in Gargan Hall, Bapst Library in the Arts Festival of Boston College, The Lied Gallery of Creighton University, Omaha, NE, The Graduate Theological Union Library, Berkeley, CA and St. Louis University Pius XII Memorial Library, Marquette University, Raynor Library, and Fairfield University, DiMenna-Nyselius Library, Santa Clara University Library.
Both artists are included in the book: THE CRUCIFIXION IN AMERICAN ART by Robert Henkes (McFarland & Co. 2003).
These drawings do not narrate the story of the Crucifixion. For Steczynski, his images evolve out of colored ink hatchings. They relate to post-modernism in their use of the appropriation, eclecticism and focus on the body. They are to operate as visual prayers that have their roots in devotional experience. They derive from the tradition of imagery inspired by devotion, piety and faith. The imagery is focused on as mystery and presence. The images are thus always the same as the same time that they change when placed in different contexts. Thus the “Crucifixion(s) in a time of….etc.”
Callahan’s work has expressionist line and charcoal glimpses of a head, shoulders, crown of thorns and dark instruments as though a scene is moving and one’s view is a fragment. The drawings are not places in a sequence which records an event, but rather are places to repeat the feelings and focus on the theme as a meditation. The titles work with the drawings to allow multiple meanings and capture “gestures” of the images. The viewer is near the image. The viewer is in its space.