PITTSBURGH, PA.- The Andy Warhol Museum
announces its latest special exhibition, The Word of God: Jeffrey Vallance.
Jeffrey Vallance is a California artist who creates objects, installations, performance and curatorial works. Vallances process is based in his interactions with institutions, communities, politicians, religions, museums and pop-culture figures. Some of his past projects have included traveling throughout Polynesia in search of the origin of the myth of Tiki; creating a Richard Nixon Museum; and traveling to the Vatican, Turin, and Milan, Italy to study Christian relics. Vallances interest in the relics and religion brings his work to the Word of God series. This exhibition features The Vallance Bible, a series of writings based on Vallances personal experiences, spiritual upbringing, studies and reading as well as reliquary objects. The Vallance Bible includes a preface, a foreword, a gospel original - The Gospel According to Jeffrey - and a series of reproductions of works in connection with religion, the Reformation and John Calvin. This illustrated bible, published the year of the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin (Jubilee), will be co-published and distributed by Grand Central Press and Centre dédition contemporaine.
The exhibition also contains a selection of Vallances reliquary objects. Vallance has a vast historical and cultural knowledge of the tradition of relics and believes they are among the most beautiful and wondrous art objects created by humankind. His reliquaries, like Warhols Time Capsules, store and revere mementos of people, places and things.
Beginning in the early 1960s, Vallance became interested in relics and religious history. He states, I turned my entire bedroom into a museum and frequently invited people over to see the installation of artifacts. Similar to early Christians who used pagan or profane boxes to store their precious relics, Vallance collects boxes not originally designed as reliquaries. I take these profane boxes, install a window in the front, carve various elements, and attach heaps of ornate molding. then paint, gild, and antique them, and finally apply a patina, resulting in as many as ten layers of finishes.
Vallance says of his reliquary project, I intend no sacrilege toward relics; I am using the convention of reliquaries as a conceptual framing device to produce a kind of autobiography rendered in personal artifacts. My process of relic accumulation is a lifelong project, with some relics generated intentionally and some accidentally, and it will continue long after the end of this specific project.
The Word of God: Jeffrey Vallance, curated by Abby Franzen-Sheehan, associate curator of education and interpretation, and Eric Shiner, director, is on view December 11, 2011 through February 5, 2012.