Breaking Resemblance

Fordham Uiversity Press, New York,  2017



In recent decades curators and artists have shown a distinct interest in religion, its different traditions, manifestations in public life, gestures and images. Breaking Resemblance explores the complex relationship between contemporary art and religion by focusing on the ways artists re- work religious motifs as a means to reflect critically on our desire to believe in images, on the history of seeing them, and on their double power – iconic and political. It discusses a number of exhibitions that take religion as their central theme, and a selection of works by Bill Viola, Lawrence Malstaf, Victoria Reynolds and Berlinde de Bruyckere – all of whom, in their respective ways and media, recycle religious motifs and iconography, and whose works resonate with, or problematize the motif of the true image.

280 pages, 23 b/w illustrations 978-0-8232-7447-5, Cloth, $70.00 (06) May

"This fascinating book examines the presence and meaning of religious motifs, and references to religion, mostly Christian and especially Catholic, in various examples of contemporary dating from the 1990s to the present day in Europe and the United States. Especially exploring how religious motifs are appropriated and recycled, Alexandrova considers how and why contemporary artists transform and in some cases defuse religious imagery."

Erika Doss, University of Notre Dame

"Breaking Resemblance is a consistently thoughtful, well-informed, original examination of modern art and some of its principal debts to the visuality of Christianity."

David Morgan, Duke University

Book review by Lieke Wijnia: