Our Lord, the One Who Is Flayed by Paul Pietka

Our Lord, the One Who Is Flayed

The Phoenix Art Museum is a cool place to visit in July! We intentionally looked for galleries that we had not previously seen on two previous visits. “Riding Tall,” located in the Lyon Gallery which is the hallway to the restaurant, featured varied images of the cowboy. We were particularly struck by Aaron Bohrad’s still life, “The Six Shooter,” that succeeded in making objects appear real. As we entered the gallery devoted to Asian art, a friendly docent encouraged us to join her and another couple for a tour of the north galleries. One of our stops was at “Bodhisattva Guanyin, the Embodiment of Wisdom and Compassion,” a 15th-16th century Chinese sculptor of wood with traces of paint. The final stop on the hour-long introduction was at Paul Pietka’s “Our Lord, the One Who Is Flayed.” This 2004 triptych acrylic on canvas weaves numerous references and symbols from both Catholic and native religious traditions. The artist painted himself into the picture, too. Thomas Moran, known to me for introducing images of Yellowstone to the general public that led to making it a National Park, also visited the Grand Canyon later in life. “Zoraster Temple at Sunset” displays his ability to capture the wonder of landscape. Maxfield Parrish also has a work on exhibit, his 1960 oil on paper, “Arizona.” The European section of the north gallery also includes one Monet, “Flowering Arches, Giverny,” a 1913 oil on canvas. We learned about the artistic range of Philip C. Curtis, the founder of the Phoenix Art Museum who started working for the WPA in Arizona during the Depression of the 1930s. The final surprise was the collection of 20 Thorne Miniature Rooms. I was under the mistaken impression that the Art Institute of Chicago had a monopoly on her rooms. We spent time examining the scroll paintings and calligraphy in the Asian Gallery of the special exhibit of Chinese paintings from the Papp Collection, “Hidden Meanings of Love and Death.” We also took a quick tour of the special exhibit on loan from the Smithsonian in the Steele Gallery, “The Art of Video Games.” The Phoenix Art Museum has an interesting collection enhanced by regularly changing special exhibits.

We enjoyed brunch prior to visiting the museum at the Switch Restaurant which offers drinks such as a bloody Mary carafe for only $4 on weekends. Their crepes huevos rancheros was filling.