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St. Francis

© Louisa Chase. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.

St. Francis

Artist: Louisa Chase (Born in Panama City, Panama, 1951–2016)
Culture: American
Date: 1982
Medium: Oil and mixed media on canvas
Dimensions:
73 1/4 x 79 1/4 x 2 inches (186.1 x 201.3 x 5.1 cm)
Classification: Painting
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. Hanford Yang
Label Text:Louisa Chase was part of a Neo-Expressionist group of painters who rose to prominence in the early 1980s. Neo-Expressionists sought an escape from what they perceived as a restrictive artistic status quo, desiring instead to return to emotion, expression, and symbolism in art. Chase pursued these goals by filling her canvases with energetic, even aggressive, brushstrokes to create tumultuous and mysterious scenes. Her expressive settings are frequently populated with symbolic, fragmentary images, such as disembodied human limbs or objects from nature, like tree branches and leaves. The title of this painting may refer to Saint Francis, a thirteenth-century saint whose hands have been emphasized in religious images for centuries. It is believed he received the stigmata—the wounds Jesus Christ bore on his hands and feet from the crucifixion. Supplied with this clue, Chase invites viewers to draw their own conclusions from the painting’s multiple hands and floating, peach-like forms.
Object number: 2002.21.1
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