The Four Holy Gospels and The Golden Sea
JANUARY 15 – MARCH 8
ISM GALLERY OF SACRED ARTS
THURSDAY, JANUARY 17
4:30 – 6:30 PM
This winter, the Yale Institute of Sacred Music will present two overlapping exhibitions showcasing the work of acclaimed international artist Makoto Fujimura at the ISM Gallery of Sacred Arts in New Haven.
The first of these, The Four Holy Gospels and the Golden Sea, will be on display from January 15 through March 8, with an opening artist reception on January 17, 4:30 – 6:30 pm.
The exhibition includes a body of paintings commissioned by Crossway Publishing to commemorate the four hundred year anniversary of the King James version of the Bible. Based on these paintings, a new edition of the English Standard version of the Bible was published in 2011 using a six-color metallic process to reproduce Fujimura’s shimmering compositions. In this groundbreaking work, Fujimura builds on the noble tradition of illuminated manuscripts – biblically derived medieval books written by hand and painted with precious pigments – by blending this Western form of devotional painting with his distinctly nonrepresentational illuminations. Viewers will experience the five large abstract paintings Fujimura created for the volume’s frontispieces, along with the “initials” designed to begin each chapter.
Also included in the exhibition is a new series of large canvases called “Walking on Water,” as well as “Golden Sea, a milestone work culminating Fujimura’s artistic and autobiographical journey. Throughout the run of the exhibition, ISM will offer repeated screenings of the retrospective documentary, also entitled “Golden Sea,” which gives a stunning overview of Fujimura’s bicultural career, his developments in Nihonga and contemporary art, and his Christian faith.
Born in the US and trained in Japan, Makoto Fujimura is renowned for his fusion of traditional Japanese painting (Nihonga) with Western painting traditions. His luminous abstractions in metallic pigment evoke the physical and spiritual aspects of nature, grounded in the artist’s deep Christian faith.He is founder of the International Arts Movement, and exhibits, publishes, and lectures widely. Fujimura studied Nihonga at Tokyo University of the Arts, and was the first non-native to participate in the Japanese Painting Doctorate Program, which dates back to the 15th century. His work can be seen at the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, the Saint Louis Museum, and the Cincinnati Museum. He served on the National Council on the Arts as a Presidential appointee from 2003-2009. He is represented by Dillon Gallery in New York and Tokyo.
In February, this exhibition will be joined by the arrival of QU4RTETS, a collaborative multimedia project based on T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, with works by Fujimura along with figurative painter Bruce Herman, and the music of Yale composer Christopher Theofanidis.
The ISM Gallery of Sacred Arts is open Tuesday – Friday from 3 – 6 pm, and Noon to 4 PM on Saturday and Sunday, and by appointment. It is located at 409 Prospect St. in New Haven; there is ample free parking. Both the exhibition and the reception are free and open to the public. For appointments, guided tours, and other information, call 203.436.5955.