Barnett Newman named this series “The Stations of the Cross” after the 14-stop r…

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Barnett Newman named this series “The Stations of the Cross” after the 14-stop religious practice that commemorates Christ’s last days on earth. Yet he borrowed the name and idea for a different purpose. Newman, who was Jewish, is not portraying this Christian imagery in any way, shape or form. In the title, he’s invoking a collective, empathic concern of humanity. “The Stations of the Cross” was Newman’s ambitious attempt to address what he called a “moral crisis” facing artists after World War II and the Holocaust by asking: “What are we going to paint?”

Barnett Newman, “First Station,” 1958, Magna on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection




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