New York's Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA) is about to do something daring: exhibit art with a less-than-obvious connection to the Bible.
"The Wanderer," which opens Friday and runs through December 23, features a series of landscapes by Enrique Martínez Celaya, a Miami-based painter who does not profess Christian faith, but is heavily influenced by the Bible-saturated western literary tradition – including Tolstoy, Nietzsche, and Kierkegaard. (Pictured here: "The Ray of Light," 2008, oil & wax.)
The exhibit's guest curator is Daniel Siedell, author of God in the Gallery and assistant professor of art history at the University of Nebraska, Omaha.
So, why is a museum of biblical art featuring art that isn't explicitly biblical? Director Ena Heller, in her foreword to the exhibition catalog, explains that MOBIA hopes to "stretch the definition" of "biblical art" – to challenge "the accepted notion of biblical as narrative or liturgical, as well as anti-modern," and that Martinez Celaya's paintings ...1