WILLIAM CONGDON, CRUCIFIX-OBSESSED PAINTER

Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins:

“I paint on black because painting is not representing a light that is and that’s all, but rather participating in the light that is becoming out of the darkness.”  

— William Congdon

The Sabbath of History: William Congdon, with Meditations on Holy Week, by Joseph Ratzinger (Knights of Columbus Museum, $45), is a catalog on the work and reflections of painter William Congdon (1912-1998).

Congdon, an abstract expressionist and a convert, came to see the crucifix as his one — as the — subject. In 1961, he observed: “Our every experience finds its apex, its substance, and ultimate meaning in the death and Resurrection of Christ, whose image is the Cross (instinct crossed by the spirit). For this reason, every subject that takes me to paint sooner or later reveals, better still becomes the Cross of Christ. … Now, without looking for inspiration elsewhere, I always paint the Crucifix, because in it lies everything I have seen and lived so far until I have painted, and everything I shall ever see in the future; sum of yesterday and prophet of tomorrow: death and Resurrection.”

READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.

2 Replies to “WILLIAM CONGDON, CRUCIFIX-OBSESSED PAINTER”

  1. Heather, I bought Congdon’s book years ago because I thought you had written about him (maybe not you?). Anyway, what an inspiration, his paintings and his words, and, of course, Papa Benedetto.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Right, I did write about him briefly several years ago…

I WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS!

Discover more from HEATHER KING

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading