Icons for Our Time: Orthodox Art from Around the World
October 14, 2021–April 3, 2022
Listen to an interview with exhibition Curator, Dr. Clemena Antonova, on WICN Radio.
Icons for Our Time, guest curated by Dr. Clemena Antonova, celebrates the fifteenth anniversary of the Museum’s founding with an exhibition of fifteen icons by some of the most important contemporary icon painters. New works by artists from Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Egypt, Georgia, Greece, Japan, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, the UK and the US have been especially commissioned for this anniversary exhibition.
Dr. Antonova examines the spread of Orthodox Christian art through the medium of icons and explores three paradoxes: the icon as a living tradition, the icon as a signature feature of Orthodox Christianity, and the concept and relevance of the contemporary icon in modern culture.
In addition to engaging audiences visually, the exhibition offers a multi-sensory experience for visitors to explore the icon tradition in a recreated sacred space unique to each icon’s country of origin. Minimal lighting directs the eye to the icon; accompanied by Orthodox chants from the countries represented in the exhibition. Reminiscent of its original church icon setting, the scent of incense, wax, wood, and candles is available at scent stations throughout the gallery. At a tactile station featuring an iconographer’s workbench, visitors are encouraged to handle icon boards, tools, and other materials used by iconographers past and present. Finally, to address the sense of taste, the visitors leave with a printed booklet of recipe cards from each featured country.