- MOCRA Past Exhibitions
- Thresholds: Part One
- Jordan Eagles: BLOOD / SPIRIT
- Patrick Graham: Thirty Years
- A Tribute to Frederick J. Brown
- Archie Granot: The Papercut Haggadah
- Adrian Kellard: The Learned Art of Compassion
- James Rosen: The Artist and the Capable Observer
- Good Friday: The Suffering Christ in Contemporary Art
- Michael Byron: Cosmic Tears
- MOCRA at Fifteen: Good Friday
- MOCRA at Fifteen: Pursuit of the Spirit
- Miao Xiaochun: The Last Judgment in Cyberspace
- The Celluloid Bible
- Oskar Fischinger: Movement and Spirit
- Gorky: The Early Years, 1927-1937
- DoDo Jin Ming: Land and Sea
- Junko Chodos: The Breath of Consciousness
- Daniel Ramirez: Twenty Contemplations on the Infant Jesus
- Radiant Forms in Contemporary Sacred Architecture
- Rito, Espejo y Ojo / Ritual, Mirror and Eye
- Tobi Kahn: Avoda
- Tony Hooker: The Greater Good
- Andy Warhol: Silver Clouds
- Robert Farber: A Retrospective, 1985-1995
- Lewis deSoto: Paranirvana
- Bernard Maisner: Entrance to the Scriptorium
- MOCRA: The First Five Years
- Tobi Kahn: Metamorphoses
- Manfred Stumpf: Enter Jerusalem
- Utopia Body Paint: Australian Aboriginal Art
- Steven Heilmer: Pietre Sante | Holy Stones
- Edward Boccia: Eye of the Painter
- Frederick J. Brown: The Life of Christ Altarpiece
- Eleanor Dickinson: A Retrospective
- Ian Friend: The Edge of Belief
- Keith Haring: Altarpiece: The Life of Christ
- Consecrations: The Spiritual in Art in the Time of AIDS
- Post-Minimalism and the Spiritual
- Georges Rouault: Miserere et Guerre
- Body and Soul: Alvin Ailey
- Sanctuaries: Recovering the Holy in Contemporary Art
MOCRA exhibitions: The Artist and the Capable Observer
A survey of paintings, watercolors, and drawings from artist James Rosen's six-decade career gently invites the "capable observer" to stay a while with poetic images that are conducive to quiet contemplation.
September 26 - December 12, 2010
Sneak preview as part of Grand Center's Dancing in the Street festival
The Artist and the Capable Observer is part of the American Arts Experience - St. Louis,
General Exhibition Information
James Rosen, S. Agata, 1986.
Jim Rosen understands that when we open our eyes on the visible world . . . what we see is light. And this is what he paints.
- Madlyn Millner Kahr, art historian
Over his six-decade career, James Rosen has produced a body of visually arresting paintings, watercolors, and drawings, that gently invite viewers to stay a while. Rosen seeks "capable observers" who bring to bear their own intellect and imagination in order to observe poetic images that are conducive to quiet contemplation.
The Museum of Contemporary Religious Art (MOCRA) is fortunate to have over 100 Rosen works either in its collection or on long-term loan. His work has been included in many of MOCRA's group exhibitions over the years and never fails to draw appreciative comments from visitors. Drawing primarily on these works, The Artist and the Capable Observer presents work from the 1950s to the present, offering viewers the opportunity to observe Rosen’s visual journey through paintings, watercolors, drawings, and prints. The exhibition culminates with a series of oil and wax/oil emulsion paintings that are homages to the religious art of the European past. Rosen is especially drawn to some of the great European religious masterworks by artists such as Duccio and Grünewald. Painted with up to 60 thin layers--"veils"--of oil paint and wax, these works possess a sense of mystery as they slowly disclose themselves to the patient and attentive observer.
While others tangle themselves in excess, Rosen starts with the question: What is truly essential here? He demonstrates that the function of art is to coordinate the visual imagination, the sensitive eye, the intellect, and the network of subliminal associations that not the painter alone, but the observer as well, brings to the work.
- M. M. Kahr
Rosen has had a distinguished career as an artist and lecturer. Educated at Cooper Union, Wayne State University, and Cranbrook Academy of Art, he has taught at the University of Hawaii, the University of California - Berkeley, Augusta College, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He has exhibited widely and his works are in collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, the Whitney Museum, and the Ashmolean Museum. Influenced by artist Mark Rothko and art historian Meyer Schapiro, Rosen's work demonstrates his keen understanding of art history, mastery of form, and ability to imbue canvases with mystery. He is represented by Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco, and the Leyton Gallery, St. John's, Newfoundland.
James Rosen, Trepassey: Triangles &
This exhibition is made possible through the financial support of the Regional Arts Commission.