CEDAR CITY — Opening Monday, the touring art exhibition “Al Farrow: Wrath and Reverence” will make its eighth and final stop at Southern Utah Museum of Art on the campus of Southern Utah University.
“Wrath and Reverence” brings together pieces of Farrow’s work from private and public collections across the United States. According to a press release from SUU, these ornate sculptures depicting religious structures, ritual objects and reliquaries are inspired by the world’s three major religions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity. What makes Farrow’s work stand out from other religious artwork is his use of unconventional materials such as deconstructed guns, bullets, bone, glass and steel.
Farrow explained his choice of media in the press release:
Beauty is not a concern for much of the art being produced today, yet it remains a universal attraction. I use the beauty of religious architecture to attract my viewers into closer inspection. Once close, the viewer discovers that these beautiful sculptures are made with violent materials. My hope is that the viewer is seduced into wondering about this juxtaposition and begins to think about the relationship between religion and war, which has existed throughout history.
Beginning its national tour in 2015, “Wrath and Reverence” has also shown at Forum Gallery in New York City; 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentuck; Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, Washington; and Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco, among other museums and galleries.
For this exhibition, SUMA received a loan from the de Young Museum, part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, for the work titled “The Spine and Tooth of Santo Guerro.” This sculpture is inspired by European Catholic cathedrals and houses the spine of Santo Guerro, a fictional saint of war, as a commentary of how many European cathedrals were built with the intention of viewing religious relics.
“Securing a loan from the de Young Museum is a great achievement for our museum and our local arts community,” said Jessica Farling, director-curator of SUMA. “This loan is another example of how quickly SUMA is growing to become a world-class museum in the heart of southern Utah, bringing diverse and thought-provoking exhibitions to the region. Exhibitions like ‘Wrath and Reverence’ help Cedar City continue to be known as Utah’s destination for the arts.”
Visitors will have the opportunity to meet the artist during multiple events throughout the exhibition.
Farrow is scheduled to attend the members’ preview event on Saturday, when Friends of SUMA members will have the opportunity to view the entire exhibition before it opens to the public, and the museum is teaming up with APEX at SUU to host Farrow for a public talk on Sept. 19 at 11:30 a.m. in the Hunter Conference Center on the SUU campus. Before the show closes, SUMA will also host a gallery talk with Farling on Oct. 1 at 4 p.m.
The “Al Farrow: Wrath and Reverence” exhibition will be on display at SUMA through Oct. 5. The show is free and open to the public.
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