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St. Francis Preaching to the Birds (after Giotto)

Jiří Kolář (Czech, 1914–2002). St. Francis Preaching to the Birds (after Giotto), not dated. Transformation chiasmage, 20 7/8 x 15 3/4 inches (53 x 40 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Galerie Schreiner, Basel, 1978 (1978:9). © Estate of Jiří Kolář / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

© Estate of Jiří Kolář / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of Jiří Kolář / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of Jiří Kolář / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of Jiří Kolář / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Jiří Kolář

Czech, 1914-2002

St. Francis Preaching to the Birds (after Giotto), not dated

transformation chiasmage

sheet: 20 7/8 x 15 3/4 inches (53.02 x 40 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Gift of Galerie Schreiner, Basel, 1978

1978:9

More Details

Provenance

from the artist to Galerie Schreiner, Basel;
presented to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, August 1978

Class

Collages (visual works)

Work Type

Collage (visual work)

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

In his experiments with poetry and verbal collage, Jiří Kolář sought to free words from their normal function and meaning. When he began making collages during the early 1950s, he repurposed these skills to convert written texts and works by other artists into designs that had a purpose independent of their original components. In St. Francis Preaching to the Birds (after Giotto), individual French words, such as "béatitude," "foi," and "reconnaître" (beatitude, faith, and recognize), become secondary to the overall composition, which was inspired by Giotto’s (Italian, 1266/67–1337) late-thirteenth-century fresco of the same title. In Catholicism, St. Francis of Assisi (Italian, ca. 1181/82–1226) is the patron saint of animals and is said to embody God’s love for all creatures. Here, Kolář wrapped sections of rope in pieces of printed text to construct shapes that mimic the major components of Giotto’s painting—a slightly bowed St. Francis, a second figure who stands behind him, birds grouped on the ground, and a few that hover in flight.

Label from Menagerie: Animals on View, March 11–June 4, 2017

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