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Prešeren Awards

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2000

Marko Ivan Rupnik (1954)
For his mosaic in the Redemptoris Mater Chape


In his mosaic art for the Mother of the Redeemer Chapel in Vatican City, Fr. Marko Rupnik, a formally trained painter and a great expert on Eastern Christianity, symbolically turned to the Byzantine tradition of art and spirituality, imprinting it with the expressiveness of the contemporary visual language. Therefore, rather than imitating history, his artwork confidently transforms the ancient heritage with creative courage and a child’s faith. It brings to it the artist’s personal experience and millennial fixation on the mysterious future, which is most clearly articulated by the motif of the Second Coming of Christ, located at the entrance of the chapel. The rhythmically varied, glowing waterfall of vivid, colourful, figural Biblical visions embedded in the abstract base that connects the mosaic into a whole, is expressive enough to speak also to the viewer who lacks the knowledge of the complexity of all the contained theological meanings. Visitors of the Chapel who enter this airy space are optimistically suffused with flickering images, which evoke a vision of the afterlife, where the views of the ancient patriarchs meet the perceptions of the contemporary artist. The stone art technique itself, looking towards eternity, brings the walls lined with 660 m2 of mosaic to an intense life. As a special kind of distinctly auteur artwork, it changes into a poetic, fragile relief that speaks of how under the creative hands of the painter-theologian all matter strives for spiritual expression. The artist’s depiction of Christ prompted Pope John Paul II, a Slavic artist himself, to recognise Rupnik as the artist who would, at the turn of the millennium, add to the famous Vatican artworks an artistic manifestation of the Eastern sources of Christianity. Rupnik made this idea a reality using his authentic inspiration, thus introducing Vatican City to Slovenian art. This is why his esteemed work of art is also of utmost national importance for Slovenia.
gpn
Ribe še živijo v rdečem morju, ki ga ni I.
mozaik; 95 x 80 cm

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