Parish & Ward Church of St. Botolph without Bishopsgate

New Art Installation

Today a new piece of art work was installed in the Churchyard as part of the Corporation of London "Sculpture in the City" art program.
The Piece called Altar by KRIS MARTIN will be in the Churchyard for 12 months.
Below is a description of the piece and pictures of the piece being installed.

Altar is a steel replica of the frame of the Ghent Altarpiece, the world famous 15th century painting by Hubert and Jan Van Eyck.
The frame is open and contains no panels. The observer can see right through the frame. On one side, one sees the beach, the sea, the sky. Maybe some people or a boat passing by. On the other side one looks at the city of Ostend, at the Thermae Palace hotel, an old-world-class luxury hotel.
By referring so directly to a work that he has admired for a long time, Kris Martin makes a very personal and bold statement.
Martin often appropriates found objects that he transforms through an intervention. By doing so, he opens up a new space for reflection, creativity and thought. In a way, Altar takes this idea to the extremes. It has a remarkable effect on people. The simple presence of the frame makes us look at the common more concentrated. We look at it with a renewed sense of wonder, a fresh appreciation for daily life. At the same time, we realize that something as common as a sea view can console us and give an aesthetic experience, just like good art does. Altar makes us see things in a new light. In the end - isn’t that what art is all about? It certainly is what the late Jan Hoet – to whom the work is an homage – taught a whole generation of art lovers.
By offering us a framed view on life, Martin refers directly to the intention of the Van Eyck brothers. At the time of its conception, the Ghent Altarpiece represented a new artistic vision, in which the idealization of the medieval tradition gave way to an exacting observation of nature and an unidealised human representation.
At the same time, Martin immaterializes art, and by doing so calls on our imagination. Like the original, Altar is intended for public display. In the 15th century, the Ghent Altarpiece showed citizens of Ghent vegetation from far, foreign countries they had never seen in their lives. They could literally travel just by looking at the painting. These days, we can fly to the other side of the globe in just a day. The exotic has become common. But with Altar, Martin makes the common a bit more exotic.