“Eclectic” And “Amusing” Art Show at the Museum of Biblical Art

August 5, 2014 | Marina Galperina

The are some very well-known artists featured in the “Back to Eden” exhibit currently on view at the Museum of Biblical Art (MoBiA). The show includes Big Bang-esque moments of creation in sculptural works with suspended and festive elements, as well as sexy Adam and Eve references. There are many things that bloom and are splendorous, evoking “the bounteous overgrowth of Eden’s flora, while also likening outmoded trappings of stereotypical feminine beauty to invasive species,” according to Benjamin Sutton, who wrote this fascinating review of the show:

The resulting thicket of thematic works is appropriately paradisiacal, by which I mean that the pieces on view are, for the most part, strikingly beautiful. There’s also a palpable undercurrent of art with an environmentalist message, whether in pieces that dwell on humanity’s destruction of Earth or others that imagine utopian hybrids of man-made and natural elements. They are not hung according to any discernible logic, beyond the conspicuous grouping of all the snake art, but I found that tackling the exhibition in a narrative sequence from the creation of Earth through Adam and Eve’s expulsion from Eden brought out some of what makes this eclectic show amusing. It doesn’t help explain why this curious show of Edenic artworks has been put together by MoBiA. But as Adam and Eve learned the hard way, sometimes you’re better off not knowing.

Fred Tomaselli, Study for Expulsion (2000).
Photo: © the artist. Courtesy James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai via Artnet)

There’s also plenty of black black black, snakes and post-Apocalyptic fantasies of the Fall. Goth stuff.

Mat Collishaw, East of Eden (2013). (Image courtesy of the artist and Blain Southern via ArtNet)

(Lead image: Adam Fuss, The Space Between Garden and Eve (2011), Courtesy Cheim & Read, New York via ArtNet)