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Indepth Arts News:

"100 Artists See God"
2004-08-01 until 2004-10-03
Laguna Art Museum
Laguna Beach, CA, USA United States of America

Whether or not one believes in God, whether we describe ourselves as theists, atheists or even anti-theists, we all live in a world that is profoundly influenced by concepts of God. 100 Artists See God, brings this topic to the forefront of the artistic debate and acknowledges the prevalence of religion and spirituality in contemporary art, culture and politics both in the United States and abroad. Curated by artists John Baldessari and Meg Cranston and organized and circulated by Independent Curators International, New York, 100 Artists See God will travel through 2005 and be presented at museums across the United States.

The exhibition brings together 100 works by 100 artist who all explore different notions of God, spiritual power, and religion. The artists were invited by Baldessari and Cranston according to several criteria: either because they know and admire their work, or because the work possesses the sense of humor and audacity befitting such a project, or because these artists are, in the curators' words, "likely to surprise." Among those participating are well-known artists such as Eleanor Antin, Chris Burden, Rebecca Horn, Mike Kelley, Liz Larner, Louise Lawler, Tony Oursler, Paul Pfeiffer, Ed Ruscha, and Diana Thater, as well as many younger artists.

All 100 artists were asked to contribute a work to the exhibition that in some way deals with their concept of God. In some cases, the works are representative of the artists' own beliefs. In others, the works deal with faith as a subject, but do not necessarily reflect the doctrines to which the artists subscribe. In all cases, the artists have agreed to set themselves to a task that is both traditional and uncommon.

Religious imagery plays an important role in contemporary culture and even politics, and dominates the history of art. The work in 100 Artists See God continues in this tradition of faith-based art, but presents subjective interpretations of spirituality rather than conventional illustrations of established religious doctrines. Be they personal confessions or analytical assessments, depictions of what grounds or inspires, these works put forth a broad view of God and of religious practice.

Major support for the exhibition at Laguna Art Museum has been provided by The Gillespie Foundation and Joan Rehnborg. Additional significant support comes from Two Roads Professional Resources, Inc., and Eugene and Vivian Levin. Further support comes from Barbara Klein, Jim Glassman, Tim Nicol and John Secretan, Barbara L. Peyton, and Carol and Keating Rhoads. Coast Magazine is the media sponsor.

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