Roderic O’Conor – The Post Impressionist You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

The emergence of post impressionism is probably one of the most colorful and thrilling movements to ever happen in the world of art. Whenever we think about post impressionism, four names usually come to mind: Paul Gauguin, Paul Cézanne, Georges Seurat, and of course, Vincent Van Gogh.image

(Vincent Van Gogh: Wheat Field with Cornflowers)

There’s one name you probably haven’t heard of yet, though. Roderic O’Conor. An Irishman who spent most of his life in France, O’Conor was surprisingly popular amongst artists. In fact, he even got into a brawl with Paul Gauguin and two other artists against a bunch of sailors in Breton fishing port in Concarneau. It was in this brawl that Gauguin got the broken ankle which will eventually plague him up to his death.
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(Roderic O’Conor: Field of Corn)

So, why doesn’t O’Conor’s name ring any bells?

That’s because he wasn’t too focused on putting his work out there. It wasn’t only until fifteen years after his death that his works even circulated in public when his widow auctioned all of them off.
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(Roderic O’Conor: A Tree in a Field)

He was well subsidized by his family, so he really didn’t feel the need to sell his works for a living, unlike other prominent artists at the time. What he did enjoy, though, is to go and view exhibits as much as he can. He liked examining styles and translating them into his own.
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(Cuno Amiet: Blossoming Orchard)

This is the reason why we can almost hear Van Gogh or Cuno Amiet’s work echoing in his own pieces, and why some critics think his work as quite indecisive. Recognize the thick, bold, brush strokes of color? As well as those landscapes that can seemingly pop out into life at any moment?

Despite a lot of us not recognizing his name today, a lot of his contemporaries surprisingly know him well. He was an active member of different art circles, after all.
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(Roderic O’Conor: The Glade)

If you are intrigued and want to see more of O’Conor’s works, then you can view Roderic O’Conor and the Moderns: Between Paris and Pont-Aven in the Beit Wing at the National Gallery of Ireland which will run from July 18 to October 28, 2018. It will be the first retrospective show dedicated to him in thirty years, and promises to show works that have never been viewed publicly before.

References: theartnewspaper.com, irishtimes.com, gauguingallery.com

Saint Albans Cathedral: a building of firsts and lasts

The Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban, approximately 20 miles north of the British capital, is a building teeming with firsts and lasts. It is the oldest site of continuous Christian worship in Britain, for example. Named after Britain’s first Christian martyr and saint, beheaded by Roman soldiers for his faith in the fourth century, the shrine of Saint Alban behind the high altar has been a site of pilgrimage for 1700 years. 2336565940_8b6c8f8a63_b Dominating the skyline from all around, parts of the current structure date back almost 1000 years, to just 23 years after the Norman Conquest of 1066, and is therefore one of the first Norman cathedrals constructed in the United Kingdom. By the time it was consecrated in the presence of King Henry I, 13 abbots had already served the saint’s shrine since his death.St_Albans_Cathedral_Lady_ChapelWhen constructed, Saint Albans Cathedral was also the largest building of any sort in the country, and today the 144 feet high ‘crossing tower’ (an architectural term meaning a tower at the center point of a cruciform structure) is the only eleventh century example still standing – and one which in part reused Roman-era bricks and flint from the old city of Verulamium.800px-St_Albans_Cathedral_Nave,_Herfordshire,_UK_-_DiliffThe cathedral also contains the longest nave (the central space of a church) in England, stretching a distance of almost 300 feet, and lined with a stark mixture of Norman-era and Gothic style arches that would originally have been plain in decoration. These arches were ornamented with murals depicting the life of Christ and other religious figures in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, making them some of the oldest and most extensive series of medieval wall paintings known. Hidden under whitewash for many years, they were rediscovered once more during the reign of Queen Victoria in the 1800s.Saint_Albans_Cathedral

Soon to rise in Upstate New York: A psychedelic temple of giant Godheads

There’s a god for death, a god for war, a god for harvest….there’s a god for everything! And every single day, each one of us would worship or own personal gods. These are all still apart from the denominational gods we worship for the sake of mainstream religions. You have probably heard of all the different gods that both the modern and ancient world has to offer, in one way or another, but have you heard of the God of Visionary Art?

Entheon-Steeplehead-645x407He (or She) is the god responsible for the psychedelic temple currently underway near the Hudson River. Like a secret magical shrine hidden within a 40-acre plot, the structure is probably one of the oddest structures to be ever built in upstate New York.mapandwoman735 Baptized as the Entheon, this structure (which some people believe to be “DMT-inspired”), once built, is going to be the Chapel of Sacred Mirror’s first ever temple. CoSM, which first started as a non-profit charity received official recognition as a legitimate religion in 2008. It was founded by husband-and-wife artists Allyson and Alex Grey way back in 1996.
Entheon-Front-large-1024x731  The Entheon will be a temple none like any other, as it is going to be both a spiritual and artistic space. Some of CoSM’s spiritual practices, after all, involve musical meditation and art creation ceremonies. In fact, the temple itself will hold multiple galleries to house CoSM’s permanent art collection. Hence, the pieces which are going to be displayed, are not going to be just ornaments made to inspire spirituality (as is the case of other churches and temples), nor were they created as physical representations of divine imagery, as objects of worship. They may also be looked upon as works of art, such as how you would view displays in a regular art gallery or a museum. Entheon-Collective-Vision-Roof-645x449Visitors of this temple in the future must bear an open-mind, though. The structure itself—both its exteriors and interiors—can be downright weird, for lack of a better term. It’s going to be a three-level structure, which will look like a big, enclosed, and rectangular Asian gazebo. Its roof will have hundreds of eyes looking up to the sky.
brian-alex-allyson-sacred-mirrors-room-december-2017 Its white-walled exteriors, according to the rendition, will be surrounded by giant “Godheads” interconnected with each other. Other religious symbols and imagery, collected from different cultures across the world are also in sculptural relief, such as all-seeing eyes, dragons, angels, among many others. Its interiors are going to be just as rich. With halls made of brick with golden arches and vibrantly red walls, with as many mythological and divine symbolism as its exterior walls.

A Kickstarter account was started in order to raise the funds needed for the construction, and upon writing this, the $2.8 million goal, is now only $500k away from fulfillment, which says a lot on how soon we can expect the Entheon from reaching completion.

References: archpaper.com, entheon.cosm.org, cosm.org