CC BY-NC-ND 2.5 PL
The last two centuries have been characterised by continual technological revolution and expansion of the boundaries of art, including with regard to using the expression of new materials or those which have so far been considered useless in the work of an artist. The artists’ pursuits are also often directed towards unusual and surprising combinations of previously used materials. Almost simultaneously, new areas of artistic activity have emerged, limiting the importance of material artefacts in favour of ephemeral activities on the borderline between arts, which also include realisations within the scope of the so-called ‘new media’. At the same time, the expansion of cultural processes leading to the gradual disappearance of historical thinking and blurring of traditional conventional meanings, also connected with the materials used in art, is accompanied by the birth of a new symbolism of modernity.
All these phenomena are reflected in the current of artistic creation inspired by metaphysics, including in sacred and religious art. They have been noticed by the institutional Church and have met with approval to a large extent, expressed in the decisions of the Second Vatican Council, in documents concerning the Church and in statements by popes and theologians.
The articles published in the previous volume of “Sacrum et Decorum” drew attention to the subject matter relating to the area of research involving the above-mentioned processes. The present volume is a continuation of the previously indicated themes.
The text by Karol Klauza discusses the value of beauty and contemporary art from the perspective of a theologian and philosopher. References to classical Christian metaphysics in the works of Christos Mandzios, an artist functioning on the borderline of various artistic disciplines, are discussed in the text by Renata Rogozińska, who selected from the rich oeuvre of the professor of the Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław works created by the artist over a dozen years at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries. Grażyna Ryba’s article cites examples indicating a search in contemporary sacred art for new forms of expression and symbolism connected with traditional materials – bronze and glass – in relation to shaping the boundary space in the area of the church entrance.
The section “Materials” contains a text by Zofia Szot, in which the author analyses the passion cycle of the Lviv-based artist Danylo Movchan. This artist experiments with the use of watercolour in order to express content reserved for traditional forms and techniques of icon painting. The Miscellanea section includes a text by Maciej Zychowicz, a sculptor, who reflects on the subject of matter and material in sacred art from the perspective of the artist and his experiences in realising his own concepts for the arrangement of church interiors.
The current volume of “Sacrum et Decorum” also introduces a new theme, hitherto virtually absent from the discourse on contemporary art history, namely the presence of sacred art in secondary school art teaching. It is introduced by an article by Małgorzata Kierczuk-Macieszko, who discusses religious sculpture objects made in recent decades by teaching staff members, students and graduates of the C.K. Norwid Secondary State School of Fine Arts in Lublin.
The issue closes with Stanisław Sobolewski’s tribute dedicated to the recently deceased Professor Stanisław Rodziński, an outstanding creator of sacred art, who was also a member of the Academic Board of our journal.