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Tuesday, November 03, 2009.

Chapel to be erected for John Cobb’s solo exhibit, Nov. 16-21

A one-week exhibition of paintings by John Cobb – as well as painting demonstrations and talks by the artist – will be hosted by the Antelope Valley College Art Gallery Nov. 16-Nov. 21.

The gallery is located on the west side of the campus, 3041 W. Ave. K, Lancaster. Hours are 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday-Thursday, and noon-9 p.m. Friday.

A closing reception for “John Cobb: Modern Icons” will be held 6-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, with a talk by the artist at 6:30 p.m.

Cobb combines the technical perfection of Andrew Wyeth with a contemporary edge, according to curator Christine Mugnolo. Cobb may spend four years on a single painting, incorporating a complex blend of Byzantine reverence with minutely-detailed portraits of ordinary people. His paintings reference religious icons in their gold leaf backgrounds.

Adding to the viewing experience, Cobb brings a portable gallery, a small open wooden structure he calls a “chapel,” that he constructs and disassembles for each show. The low, understated wooden arches of this sanctuary take on the appearance of a church nave, creating a reverent space in which to contemplate his works.

The exhibition coincides with the AVC Theater Arts Department’s production of “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.”

“These artistic events were specifically designed to overlap because of their shared interest in a contemporary response to religion,” said Mugnolo. “Both acknowledge the Bible’s long, arduous visual history while using artistic interpretations to extricate the power of these passages for a contemporary audience.”

As part of the Nov. 20 reception, English Professor Charles Hood will present a lecture on “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” in the gallery at 7:30 p.m. That will be followed by a presentation of the play in the campus Black Box Theatre.

Anyone interested in a specially arranged talk or group demonstration should contact Mugnolo, (661) 722-6300, ext. 6798.