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Chartres

Artist: Allan Graham (American, born 1943)
Date: 1984
Medium: wood, canvas, pages from Navajo New Testament and water-based pigment
Dimensions:
86 5/8 × 12 × 18 in. (220 × 30.5 × 45.7 cm)
Classification: Sculpture
Credit Line: Gift of Gifford and Joann Phillips, 1987
Keywords and Associated Locations:
Object number: 1987.399.1
Description
In the Gothic Period of church architecture (mid-12th century to 14th century in Europe) architects created structural supports which enabled these monumental cathedrals to seem lighter. The open, lattice-patterned buttresses and supports are a main innovation of the period. Allan Graham's sculpture pays tribute to the Gothic (an unexpected subject in the 1980s) by highlighting the structural innovation of the period. By using unusual materials (untreated wood and pages from a Navajo Bible) he also makes unexpected commentaries on the structure and nature of the Catholic Church as an institution, and its extended reach through the translation of the Bible into various languages, including Navajo. Ultimately finalized in the mid-1980s, the translation of the Bible into Navajo was a complex project that took more than 40 years to complete because many concepts in the Bible had no equivalent in the Navajo language or world view.
Not on view