Wednesday, April 06, 2005

God in surprising places

Yesterday I met some friends up from Devon for a 24 hour gallery tour. We went to see the Anthony Caro exhibition at Tate Britain.

I have to say that I knew very little about Caro - apparently Britain's greatest living sculptor - and the first 9 rooms were pretty uninspiring. They did not prepare us for room 10 which contains a single work called The Last Judgment.

This sombre, striking, awesome piece of work was made between 1995 and 1999 and confronts the viewer with a set of pieces asking questions about ultimate values, the worth of human life. It picks up news from our warring world and probes our culpability for the state of life of earth.

It is a secular piece - there is a gate of heaven, even Jacob's ladder, but interestingly no God. And yet standing in front of these pieces I was acutely aware of the brooding of the divine presence, the weeping of our God of justice for his broken world. Art often does that.

Sadly the retrospective ends on 17 April and the piece usually lives in Germany - so you haven't got long to get to the Tate to see it.

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