August 29 — October 10, 2020

On Earth, An in Heaven

Reinhard Ziegler

 

 

"The visual portals so central to these works are rendered in various states of appearing and vanishing, intersecting the transcendent. Some of the portals seem completely natural while others are more enigmatic. In either case, they are conceived as access points to fresh ways to considering our relationship with Heaven and Earth.

If we think of Heaven at all, it’s probably as a metaphor. For some, Heaven might be a stand-in for a certain state of being or a hoped-for place that offers a better life.

But if “Heaven” is not just a figure of speech, where can it be found? Where should we look? Conventionally, we think of Heaven as UP THERE, or as an eternal destination. By default, our Earthly experience must then be DOWN HERE. Heaven and Earth are separate and will never meet. Or, in the panacea offered by Yoko Ono, we should simply try to:

Imagine there's no heaven,
It's easy if you try,
No hell below us, Above us only sky”.

Personally, I’m not sure if that describes Nirvana or Nihilism? Either view sets up a false dichotomy. Heaven isn’t necessarily versus Earth. We don’t have to deny one to connect with the other. Consider for a moment the notion that Heaven is actually present, just not fully realized. We acknowledge the imperfections of the world and of ourselves, that things aren’t the way they are supposed to be. Yet transcendent moments may suddenly appear when we quiet ourselves, when we look closely and feel deeply, when the promise of the sublime, the heavenly shows up.

The works that comprise “On Earth, as in Heaven” are my latest invitation to see beyond normal boundaries. Of course, the classic concerns of landscape art are still active in this new work: beauty, conflict, and the search to find our place in the order of things.

The longing for intimacy with something greater, something “True” keeps catching the peripheral vision of our hearts. In these new images, quite unexpectedly, there it is.

We may even sense the reciprocal desire of the Heavenly to be intimate with us. Are we willing to risk and receive what is being offered and to be part of making things whole?"

Reinhard Ziegler, 2020

Artists in this Exhibition