Religion, Ritual, and Performance in Modern and
Contemporary Art

August 28, 2012 - May 26, 2013
Ellen Johnson Gallery

As in earlier periods, the art of the 20th and 21st centuries engages in a dialogue with the important themes of religion, ritual, and performance. Works from the AMAM collection by artists from diverse backgrounds and artistic approaches reflect a broad array of responses to these concepts. Examples by artists such as Louise Bourgeois and photographer Holly Wright address religion, ranging from the Christian tradition to other beliefs from around
the world. Other artists like Jackie Winsor employ the idea of ritual as an art-making strategy, while Alison Saar and José Bedia present it as a subject. Ephemeral performance art is documented in works by artists including Joseph Beuys, Dennis Oppenheim, and Ana Mendieta.

This exhibition was curated by Denise Birkhofer, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Also on view in the same gallery, 'Performance at Oberlin' chronicles the history of performance art at Oberlin College since the 1970s. This section was curated by Thomas Huston (OC '13). Read the 'Performance at Oberlin' brochure here.

Related Events

Feb. 7, 5:30pm— Come celebrate with us the opening of four new exhibitions! Tours will be led by Denise Birkhofer, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Liliana Milkova, Curator of Academic Programs, Erik Inglis, Professor of Medieval Art History, Sara Green, Curatorial Assistant, and Ian MacMillan, Visiting Professor in Ethnomusicology. 

Feb. 12, 2:30pm — Lucas Briffa, Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Academic Programs, will present a lecture on the response of artist Jackie Winsor to the minimalist movement and its relevance to ritual and performance.

May 2, 5:30 pm— Audrey Flack, a pioneer of Photorealism and a nationally recognized painter and sculptor will give a lecture titled: 

the Passion and the Sorrow 

in conjunction with the exhibition, "Religion, Ritual and Performance in Modern and Contemporary Art."  This talk is sponsored by the AMAM and the Art Department Ellen Johnson Fund. (Sculpture Court, AMAM)

Romare Bearden (American, 1911–1988)
Conjur Woman, 1975
Collage with spray paint on paper
R. T. Miller Jr. Fund, 2001.3