War and Peace
#90002 168 X 244 cm ac
The evocation of a Christ figure from the fifteenth century, a stylized bird from the twentieth, and a newsphoto from the Vietnam war are used to create one of the most powerful religious paintings of our time.The soldiers pause in battle. Underneath a blood-red sky. Artillery and bombs detonate behind them and death is always close! Yet the figure of Christ flies through the sky above them as an omen for peace on earth and everlasting life.
The Christ figure is taken from the surviving center panel of a triptych painted for a chapel in Louvain. Chen has discarded all except the figure of Christ, which he rotates 90 degrees.
The Braque bird has the simple magnificence of a Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock print. The use of the vertical grill in this picture creates a moir?effect, an optical illusion of a sensation of movement. The whole scene flickers and moves like a newsreel. The thin parallels suggest the depersonalizing repetitiveness of war-bursts of machinegun bullets and an empty, unceasing battle.
Without Christ, what hope would there be, for any of us?
– Lawrance Jeppson