The Catholic Church’s Contemporary Art Scene

The Catholic Church of France has increasingly called on the services of contemporary artists since the 1960’s, employing a mix of believers, atheists, French citizens and non-French nationals to carry out renovations and publically commissioned work. These projects offer the Church a modern, enlightened image, and give the artists an opportunity to work in a space seeped in symbolism and history.

The peals of the cathedral bells ring out through the neo-gothic structure. The projectors shine a pallid light on his lifeless body installed on an immaculate platform. With his head slumped on his right shoulder, his arms stretched as if on a cross, his torso and wrists attached with leather straps, Jesus Christ is sitting in an electric chair. His empty eyes stare out from below a crown of thorns.

©Paul Fryer 2007. All rights reserved.

The piece of art created by English artist Paul Fryer shocked worshippers at the Easter Mass held on April 12, 2009, in the Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Arnoux cathedral in Gap, in the


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