Guy Denning’s Oil Painting Series on the Commedia

Guy Denning is an artist based out of Finistere, France since 2007. Beginning in 2011, he created a three part series of oil paintings based on Dante’s Divine Comedy. The image above is a painting called “ch’io ‘l vidi uomo di sangue e di crucci” from his first series, ‘Inferno‘ (2011).

“In 2011 he presented ‘Inferno’, the first part of his three-part series of oil paintings on Dante’s Commedia in Bologna; this was his first exhibition in Italy and the complete exhibition sold out.
In 2011, he presented the second part of the series in New York City for the exhibition ‘Purgatorio’. Originally drawing inspiration from Dante’s writings, his intention was not to recreate the poem in a visual or literal sense, but instead let the ‘Purgatorio’ series act as a framework for his own personal interpretation of the world following 9/11. As with the writing of Shakespeare, Denning finds a perpetual relevance in Dante’s work where the specifics of name, situation and place are easily adapted to the modern world; as if time moves on but the problems of humanity remain essentially the same. The events of September 11th and the emotional toll it took on the US identity was a critical element to this body of work. Poignantly enough, this exhibition was held in a ‘pop-up’ location just blocks from Ground Zero and on the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.” [. . .]    —Widewalls Magazine, 2017

On exhibition set- “Inferno”

“This was the first part of my paintings based on Dante’s Divine Comedy. Inferno was exhibited at my first solo exhibition in Italy at MAGI’900 Museo, Bologna.”     –Guy Denning, on his site, January 19, 2017

On exhibition set- “Purgatorio”

“This was the second part of my paintings based on Dante’s Divine Comedy. Purgatorio was exhibited in Manhattan at a pop-up gallery space by Brooklynite Gallery on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.”    –Guy Denning, on his site, January 30, 2017.

The image above to the right is a painting called “the cardinal virtue of media temperance” from the ‘Purgatorio‘ exhibition.

On exhibition set- “Paradiso”

“This was the third part of my paintings based on Dante’s Divine Comedy. Paradiso was exhibited at Signal Gallery in London.”    –Guy Denning, on his site, January 27, 2017.

The image below is a painting called “Looking for Beatrice” from the ‘Paradiso‘ exhibiton.

To view Denning’s full list of exhibitions, check out his website here

Yves Guérin’s Divine comédie Sculptures

Yves-Guerin-Divine-Comedie-Montpeyroux“L’Enfer, le Purgatoire, le Paradis… Yves Guérin s’est inspiré de l’œuvre de Dante pour créer trois sculptures monumentales, exposées à Montpeyroux. […]

“Pour cela, il a choisi, depuis plusieurs années, de façonner des rails de chemin de fer. «Il faut lui faire cracher quelque chose à la matière.» Et lui faire raconter une histoire. En l’occurrence, celle de la Divine comédie, de Dante. «Un texte qui m’a toujours impressionné et que je réinterprète.»

“L’Enfer a ainsi pris place dans la carrière du village, le Purgatoire sur le promontoire et le Paradis, création haute de 11 mètres, sur l’esplanade. «J’ai vraiment souhaité exploiter ces trois lieux.» Des espaces qui se complètent à merveille. Il suffit d’observer, au pied de la carrière, la sculpture du Purgatoire qui se dresse dans la perspective de l’Enfer. Tout un symbole. «J’ai toujours eu des questionnements sur le devenir de l’humanité, ce qu’il reste des choses», confie l’artiste.” — Marion Chavot, “Le sculpteur expose trois de ses œuvres jusqu’à la fin de l’année,” La Montagne, June 24, 2016

Contributed by Giuseppe Sangirardi (Université de Lorraine)

Inferno Magazine

INFERNO: arts, scènes, attitudes is a bilingual (French-English) magazine dedicated to contemporary art, published quarterly and available both in print and online. The magazine’s offices are located in Avignon, France.

“INFERNO est depuis 2013 la revue européenne référence des pratiques contemporaines: Art, Performance, Danse, Théâtre, Littératures… Tout ce qui compte dans la création contemporaine la plus exigeante et novatrice n’échappe pas à INFERNO, classée comme l’une des 10 revues les plus influentes d’Europe.” —INFERNO la revue

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The Dante Trap by Arnaud Delalande (2011)

“Murder follows murder, each more gruesome than the last, and as Viravolta begins to draw the connections between these deaths, and the torments reserved for sinners in each of Dante’s circles of hell, he finds himself embroiled in a terrible game of cat and mouse. As the streets of Venice fill with masked Carnival-goers, and as Anna and Viravolta are once again thrown together, he is drawn further into the inferno, to the heart of a secret sect and a plot to bring about the downfall of the city.” —Orion Books

Contributed by Alessandra Mazzocchi (Florida State University ’19)

“Encore Dante” (2016 – ), A modern day adaptation of Dante’s Inferno

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“In her youth, the author labored as an au pair for a Parisian family. Like most life-altering experiences, the work was brief but intense. Now, after decades of therapy, the author descends again to the depths of hell to describe for readers what awaits there.”

Anticipated schedule for posting chapters of Encore Dante:

  • Prologue: Posted
  • Chapter 1: Week of February 6, 2017
  • Chapter 2: Week of February 20, 2017
  • Chapter 3: Week of March 6, 2017
  • Chapter 4: Week of March 20, 2017
  • Chapter 5: Week of April 3, 2017
  • Chapter 6: Week of April 17, 2017
  • Chapter 7: Week of May 1, 2017
  • Chapter 8: Week of May 15, 2017
  • Chapter 9: Week of May 29, 2017
  • Chapter 10: Week of June 12, 2017
  • Epilogue: Week of June 26, 2017

Le Cabaret de L’Enfer: Turn-of-the-Century Paris Nightclub Modeled After Hell

Cabaret-L'Enfer-Paris-Theme-Bars“As a general rule, theme bars are embarrassing affairs. You have your corny waitstaff, your overly literal decor and a sense of forced performance that’s… annoying. Once in a blue moon though, there has been a theme bar so fucking cool you would sell your soul to get in. Tragically, you would have to strike some kind of deal with the devil to go to Le Cabaret de L’Enfer, since the Paris red light district nightclub opened around the turn of the last century and closed sometime during the middle of it. Very little information exists on L’Enfer, but the detail in the decor is absolutely gorgeous—almost Boschian detail of twisting human, animal and skeletal forms—couldn’t you just die?”    –Posted by Amber Frost on Dangerous Minds

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Lost River (2014)

lost river gosling inferno picture“Lost River has been heavily influenced aesthetically by the work of Nicolas Winding Refn, Gosling’s favoured collaborator and director of Drive and Only God Forgives. It looks like something out of a style magazine with its heavy green and red tints.

“But for all the brilliance of the work of its cinematographer Benoit Debie (who shot Irreversible), the fact that the action is set in Detroit, the American city once famous for its cars but now celebrated for its abandoned buildings, seems at odds with Gosling’s criticism of America and its willingness to abandon its past and its people. It occasionally feels as though he is glamorising their misery.

“Recurring burning buildings, and even the occasional burning bicycle, establish Detroit as a place of purgatory and it’s on some lower level of Dante’s Inferno that Gosling has found his characters, the type usually found in the films of Dario Argento, Gaspar Noe and Nic Roeg.”   –Kaleem Aftab, “Lost River, Cannes film review: ‘Dazzling enough to delight Ryan Gosling fans’,” The Independent, May 20, 2014

The still featured above recalls the iconic entrance to Le Cabaret de L’Enfer, the hell-themed turn-of-the-century Parisian nightclub featured on Dante Today here.

Preserving Mont Saint-Michel

 

mont-saint-michel-smithsonian-image-divine-comedyIn some ways, the trip to the top offers a modern version of the medieval journey through life—a kind of Divine Comedy. The way up is demanding: One must pass through the tourist hell of the town below and make one’s way up the increasingly steep ascent to the abbey, where many must pause to catch their breath after one or other of a seemingly infinite set of stairs. As one ascends, the crowd thins, discouraged by the demanding climb, the lack of shops and cafés, or simply held in thrall by the distractions below. Suddenly, as one approaches the top, the views open up—the horizon widens; one can see the immense and gorgeous bay; the sand and water glisten in the sun. There is quiet other than the occasional cries of seabirds.”   –Alexander Stille, “The Massive and Controversial Attempt to Preserve One of the World’s Most Iconic Islands,” Smithsonian Magazine, May 20, 2014

Dante Street in Paris

 

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Contributed by Dien Ho

Edmund White, Inside a Pearl (2014)

inside-a-pearl-edmund-white-2014Jay Parini describes Marie-Claude de Brunhoff, a main character in Edmund White’s memoir Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris, as “a kind of fragile Virgil to White’s dewy-eyed Dante, leading him with gusto into the labyrinth of Parisian life.”    –Jay Parini, The New York Times, February 7, 2014