wed 23/10/2019

The Sacred Made Real, National Gallery | reviews, news & interviews

The Sacred Made Real, National Gallery

The Sacred Made Real, National Gallery

The head of John the Baptist floats in darkness, lips blue, eyes rolled back, the severed neck so realistic that the trachea, oesophagus and paraspinal muscles can be clearly differentiated around the jutting bone. With its explicit gore and hypereal materiality, its air of heightened theatricality bordering on camp, this feels in some ways the most contemporary exhibition currently showing in London. And the irony is that at a time when we’re positively inundated with powerful exhibitions devoted to major living artists – Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, Anish Kapoor, Sophie Calle – everything here is nearly 400 years old.

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