Bill Viola Exhibition Opening at Saint Louis Art Museum

The Saint Louis Art Museum announces the June 20, 2010, opening of The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy and Bill Viola: Visitation, two exhibitions presented in tandem this summer that reveal how different artists working more than 500 years apart have chosen to express the most fundamental human emotions.

The Mourners, 40 extraordinary alabaster sculptures forming a funeral procession that adorned the tomb of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, depict personal responses to the Duke’s death. The exhibition brings Museum visitors a rare opportunity to see some of the most extraordinary and important French sculptures from the later Middle Ages. The Museum is pleased to be the second stop on the exhibition’s US tour, organized by the Dallas Museum of Art and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon, under the auspices of FRAME (French Regional and American Museum Exchange) and which opened in March at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Inspired by similar examples of devotional art from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, celebrated video artist Bill Viola modernizes timeless themes of faith and sorrow, heaven and earth to stunning effect in Visitation, a 2008 video installation. The pairing of these two unique exhibitions will allow visitors to collapse time and connect 15th-century mourning practices to 21st-century attitudes toward life and death.

Admission to both exhibitions is $8 for adults, $6 for students and seniors, $4 for children 6 to 12, free for children younger than 6, free to Members every day and free to all on Fridays. Advance tickets for exhibitions are highly recommended and will be available beginning June 11 at all MetroTix locations. Charge by phone at 314.534.1111 or online at Tickets will also be available in person at the Museum. Tickets purchased through MetroTix will incur a $2.75 service fee per ticket; the service fee is waived for tickets purchased at the Museum.

The exhibitions open Tuesday through Sunday at 10 a.m. To allow sufficient time for visitors to enjoy The Mourners and Bill Viola: Visitation, the last ticket entry will be at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. On Friday, the last entry will be at 8 p.m. The Museum is closed on Monday with the exception of Memorial Day and Labor Day.

The Mourners and Bill Viola: Visitation will be on view in the Museum’s Main Exhibition Galleries through Labor Day, September 6. The Museum will be open on Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The accompanying catalogue, The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy, by Sophie Jugie is published by Yale University Press in association with the French Regional & American Museum Exchange (FRAME) and the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dijon. The 128-page catalogue is available in the Museum Shop in both softcover and hardcover.

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