Peter Greenaway: Leonardo’s Last Supper

December 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

photo courtesy of Park Avenue Armory

Peter Greenaway: Leonardo’s Last Supper
Park Avenue Armory
December 3, 2010 – January 6, 2011

I had three good reasons to see Peter Greenaway’s Last Supper at the Armory this week. First, The Park Avenue Armory has been offering great installations recently ~ Ernesto Neto (flickr pics) and Christian Boltanski (blogpost)just to name a few. Second, I was aware Greenaway had a series of installations illuminating and reinterpreting famous paintings, such as Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” at the Rijksmuseum. Pretty cool idea. Third, I found it completely bizarre that as a film maker he said “the tools of cinema are now wasted on cinema.”

And damn it if I didn’t like the show. I’ve seen Da Vinci’s Last Supper in Milan and I was raised Catholic so I was surprised when I found the installation confusing. Will my high school New Testament classes ever prove useful? The Last Supper segment lacked context. Which was noticeable because there was so much context given to Veronese’s “Wedding at Cana” segment. More importantly, I didn’t have an emotional or intellectual reaction to the piece.

— Incidentally the “Wedding at Cana” segment reminded me of a super cool presentation of Jan Styka’s “The Crucifixion” at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California. It’s the largest permanently mounted religious painting in the world with a guided light show that narrates and illuminates important parts of the painting for viewers. It is so enjoyable with it’s use of 1960s technology!

New York Times review


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