The Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) exhibit Back to the Future: Alfred Jensen, Charmion von Wiegand, Simon Gouverneur, and the Cosmic Conversation focuses on three American abstract artists who created works on spiritual themes from the 1940s through the 1980s. Although Jensen, von Wiegand and Gouverneur did not know each other, their works express common yearnings of the post–WWII generation. While the Cold War ushered in a period of cynicism, these artists pursued positive, life-affirming themes of unity and harmony. They delighted in the colorful patterns of sacred geometry and mathematical patterns found in the natural world. Dr. Andrew J. McKenna, Loyola Professor of French Literature, examines how the extent of the spiritual claims of these artists is in inverse proportion to the recognizable figural content of their works.
Dr. Andrew J. McKenna, professor of French language and literature at Loyola University in Chicago, earned a Ph.D. in Romance Languages [French & Spanish] from Johns Hopkins University after receiving his B.A. in French from Holy Cross College. In addition to acting as the host of the French club, he teaches courses in French Literature of 17th, 19th, 20th centuries, Stylistics, French culture and civilization, and Masterpieces of European Literature and Comparative Literature (in translation). For the decade between 1996 and 2006, he was the Editor-in-Chief of Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture, 1996-2006. He presently serves on the Board of the Raven Foundation. Back to the Future continues through November 18. The exhibit is generously funded in part by The Judith Rothschild Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Recorded Tuesday, October 27, 2009 at Loyola University Museum of Art.