Highlights from the MOCRA Collection
Transformation is an essential element of the creation and experience of art. Artists manipulate materials and perceptions in ways that bring their work, viewers, and themselves to new physical, psychological, and spiritual states of existence. Recognizing and talking about the spiritual and religious dimensions in art can be challenging. Sometimes an artwork evokes in us a sense of connection to something other, and perhaps greater, than ourselves. We are moved beyond surface, material existence to an engagement with deeply human concerns such as suffering, love, mortality, and immortality. Such art can be an expression of faith or it can be a genuine inquiry into the religious dimension - an appreciation of mystery, and perhaps a search for answers.
This is the challenging and exciting terrain that MOCRA has been exploring for almost 25 years. The present exhibition encompasses work spanning the past three decades. It reflects a striking geographical, ethnic, religious and spiritual range among the artists, as well as the stylistic and material diversity found in the art of our time. Featured artists include Salma Arastu, Maria Magdalena Campos - Pons, Jordan Eagles, Nancy Fried, Luis González Palma, Adrian Kellard, DoDo Jin Ming, Jim Morphesis, Daniel Ramirez, and Susan Schwalb.
In one way or another, the works invite us to a more focused attention, to a deeper understanding, and to an engagement with mystery.
You might be wondering why parts of the museum are currently roped off. In 2016 MOCRA acquired Michael Tracy's powerful 1981 work Cruz to Bishop Oscar Romero, Martyr of El Salvador. Now we are excited to give you a rare behind - the - scenes glimpse of the process of documenting and cleaning the work prior to its reassembly and first presentation at MOCRA.
The array of materials and techniques employed in the discipline of art conservation is impressive (and occasionally surprising). We hope you find this other form of artistic transformation as fascinating as we do, and that you return to see the work as it progresses.