Intersections: A Thematic Exhibition of Images on the Theme of the Cross

22 April – 22 May 1993

During May, a thematic exhibition of contemporary paintings, prints and collages, which use the motif of the cross will be installed at the Annex. Intersections is a diverse grouping of works drawn primarily from the Gallery's own contemporary collection. It represents a chance to see some familiar images, as well as those previously unexhibited, in a new context.

The cross has been a recurrent motif in art since its adoption by Christianity in the fifth century. Initially appearing as a representation of Christ's sacrifice, it came to stand also as a general symbol of the Christian religion. Much religious art has used the cross as a symbolic and narrative device to represent the details of Christ's passion.

The intersecting lines of the cross have appeared often as a formal device in twentieth century abstract painting. Detached from an overtly religious signification, the cross motif utilises in these contemporary works to create a readymade pictorial structure, a formal order for the composition of image.

Both the historically based religious and the contemporary abstract tradition of artmaking which use the cross as a motif are featured in Intersections. The cross is the point of intersection between these disparate traditions and styles, the figurative and the geometric abstraction: in each, the device of the cross functions as an emblem of power, a meeting point of opposing lines of force.

Works by artists including Jeffrey Harris, Philip Clairmont, Ralph Hotere, Colin McCahon, Julian Dashper, Max Hailstone and Simon Ogden are included in Intersections, which runs until 22 May at the McDougall Art Annex in the Arts Centre.

('Intersections: A Thematic Exhibition of Images on the Theme of the Cross', Bulletin, No.84, April/May 1993, p.5)