Allegory and Mythology:
Selections from the Reingold Collection of American Relief Sculpture
June 10 - August 30, 2002 Lowenfeld Exhibition Hall
The Hofstra Museum presents the exhibition Breaking the Walls of Bias: Art From Survivors in conjunction with The Survivors Art Foundation. The exhibition is on view in the Emily Lowe Gallery from April 16 to August 1, 2002.
Mythology, in the strictest sense, is the compilation and study of myths. Myths are legendary stories which attempt to explain human experiences and natural phenomena in the universe. Myths differ from fantasies which are not purported to be true; myths are the very beliefs of peoples. Although not supported by scientific fact, myths are integrally integrated into the fabric of societies. Myths attempt to explain the what, the where, the why and the how of events in a supernatural /cosmological manner. Early civilizations and modern peoples have created and perpetuated myths, often creating highly organized systems.
Mythology relates to religion but differs from it in one basic manner: mythology attempts to explain, while religion attempts to guide. Deities are postulated in both, but the G-d of myth elucidates and enlightens, while the G-d of religion controls and modifies human destiny.
Mythology bypasses the slow methodical process of the scientific method in favor of simplified spiritualized explanations.
Allegory is the emblematic, symbolic, figurative, or metaphoric representation of ideas, events, processes, fables, persons or beliefs. Allegory is integrated into mythology, as a useful device, and many examples are present in the current exhibition.
Relief sculpture is a form of three dimensional art in which one surface is neutralized and therefore the relief image projects from the neutralized plane, fooling the eye into assuming full dimensions. Relief art was employed by most American sculptors, and some sculptors worked exclusively in relief.
Over 40 years, we have collected over 500 examples of relief sculpture. The current grouping was selected from the collection.
Eileen And Marvin Reingold