The MOA Sculpture Garden is an Intersection of Art and Nature

 In MOA Features

Guest post by Abbie Daniels, MOA Marketing & PR Intern

Franz M. Johansen "Resurrection"

Franz M. Johansen, “Resurrection”

Hidden in the leaves of a tree, a statue of a body, rising, wrapped in cloth looks to the sky. This sculpture by Franz M. Johansen is titled Resurrection. Poised far above the ground, Resurrection was built to give off the appearance of floating, as bronze rags hang from the body, seemingly flowing in the breeze. Resurrection’s gentle and bedraggled figure signals above, gaze turned toward the clouds with the backdrop of the mountains framing the piece. As you look at the statue you will notice the leaves of trees shake behind it, creating life and giving a natural movement to this dynamic sculpture.

Franz M. Johansen, who created the piece, is considered to be a father of the spiritual contemporary art movement, not only with his bronze statues and bold paintings, but also in the legacy he left in his tenure as a professor of art at BYU. In his life, he sought after adventure and enlightenment and these ideas are well reflected in his art. The pieces show inner spirituality, often depicting scenes from scripture while having a touch of personalization and individualism, setting these modern pieces apart.

Though not the most prominent piece in the BYU Museum of Art’s Sculpture Garden, Resurrection is one that will definitely catch your eye and perhaps surprise you. Almost disappearing at times behind corners and trees, the sculpture blends into a serene patch of grass and pond, but it’s subtly and softness is what makes this metal piece so different. The MOA Sculpture Garden, tucked between the Harris Fine Arts Center and the MOA, houses several modern and contemporary art installations. It is quiet and isolated, creating a place in which these outdoor pieces can truly be seen and appreciated. The interaction of the natural world and the bronze silhouettes leave the viewer with a closer connection to the art and the nature around it.


Information for blog post found in the article by Anne Poore: “Sculpture, Painter, Adventurer, Pioneer: Franz M. Johansen (1928-2018),” Written for 15 Bytes

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