GIANCARLO POLENGHI

Lecturer in Contemporary Sacred Art

Graduated in Medieval Art History from the University La Sapienza in Rome, he has been a lecturer (since 2000) in Services Marketing at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. He taught communication at the University of Asia and the Pacific in Manila (Philippines) and at the Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA. As a communication consultant, he has worked for companies such as Avis, Nestlé, Volvo, Barilla, Bayer, Galbani and many others. From 2011 to 2013 he directed Sipario TV, an online TV made by intellectually disabled people. He is one of the founding members of the Sacred Art School – Florence.

Sacred Art in Contemporary Culture program

I year

The aim of the course is to stimulate a personal reflection on contemporary sacred art, avoiding trivialization and hasty judgments on the one hand and identifying, on the other, possible avenues of research. Starting from the main documents of the recent magisterium (from Vatican II, and Blessed Paul VI, to Saint John Paul II, from Benedict XVI to Pope Francis), the course introduces the challenges that contemporary sacred art has to face. The first lessons highlight the basic ideas that Christianity has about art, ideas that are reiterated in Evangelii Gaudium (Pope Francis) as in the Letter to artists (John Paul II). Then we will analyze the relationship of the Church with recent history and different cultures (inculturation), ecumenism (relationship with the Orthodox and Protestants) and especially the dialogue with contemporary art culture. The works of well-known contemporary artists, who use different styles (from abstractionism to conceptual and figurative art), will be presented as concrete proposals for the solution of artistic and cultural conflicts.

– The letter to the artists by Pope Paul VI and the Contemporary Art Section of the Vatican Museums (1)
– The letter to the artists of John Paul II and the Thomist vision on art (2)
– Introduction to the spirit of the liturgy by Joseph Ratzinger (3)
– The liturgical reform of Vatican II, from the Sacrosantum Concilium to the guidelines for liturgical adaptation (4)
– Evangelium Gaudium, the thought of Pope Francis on sacred art (5)
– Marko Ivan Rupnik, Western Organic Art Looking East (6)
– Arcabas, contemporary sacred art in France (7)
– Contemporary architects and the plastic and decorative arts (8)
– The liturgical conferences of Bose (9)
– The San Fedele Centre in Milan (10)

II Year

In line with what has already started during the first year, we will continue to explore problems and attempts at solutions proposed by contemporary artists concerned with the sacred.

– Objective” art, starting from models or “visionary” art? (1)
– The ancient and modern way of the symbol (2)
– Art and madness, the influence of psychoanalysis in art (3)
– The new Italian Caravaggesque by Vittorio Sgarbi (4)
– Arte povera of the Twentieth century (5)
– Harmony and polar opposition in Pope Francis (6)
– Rodolfo Papa theorist and artist (7)
– Is body theology a possible route? (8)
– Filippo Rossi, sacred abstractionism (9)
– The Lercaro Foundation in Bologna (10)