Sunday, September 03, 2006

"Many people think that Islam prohibits figural representation, but this is not true."

-Velvet Lady in a niche (detail), 17th century, India or Iran. On display over at Boston College's McMullin Museum of Art until December 31st, 2006.

"The Koran, the Muslim scripture, bans idolatry, or the worship of images, so images are not found in mosques and other religious settings. But many Muslims-like people everywhere-enjoyed pictures of people and animals in their everyday lives."

-Figures from the Cosmophilia exhibit brochure.

As with all the exhibitions I've seen over the past several years at the McMullin, this was impressive, both for the works displayed and the curation. Cosmophilia (love of ornament) was divided into five areas: Figures, Writing, Geometry, Vegetation, Hybrids. Each section was thoroughly explained, as was each illustratory piece. Ordinarily, I'm not a fan of such text-heavy displays, but BC's curatorial staff do such a good job, both in the writing and making allowances for necessary low-light conditions, that I couldn't imagine an improvement on what they've put forth this time around.

Am probably going to try to see this again at least once more (possibly more, if it means dragging everyone I know who might be interested along).

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