When I searched earlier this month for exhibitions related to the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, I quickly realized that I had bitten off more than I could chew. A mountain of material soon grew before me, forcing me to pick and choose those that intrigued me the most and offered interesting angles to approach that unapproachable topic. One piece that slipped my grasp then but seems essentially to a discussion of artistic approaches to the tragedy and its commemoration is Graydon Parrish’s allegorical painting The Cycle of Terror and Tragedy, September 11, 2001 (detail above, click to enlarge; click link to see entire painting). Stretching 17 feet across and 6 feet tall, Parrish’s passion play refuses to be ignored. The real question, however, is whether modern viewers can read allegories on this complex, titanic scale and, if so, whether we can believe what they are saying. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Can We Still Read (and Believe in) Allegory?"
[Image: Graydon Parrish. The Cycle of Terror and Tragedy, September 11, 2001 (detail), 2002-2006. Oil on canvas, 77 x 210 in. New Britain Museum of American Art, Connecticut. Charles F. Smith Fund and in Memory of Scott O’Brien, Who Died in the World Trade Center, Given by his Family; 2006.116.][Many thanks to the New Britain Museum of American Art for providing me with the image above and other press materials related to The Cycle of Terror and Tragedy, September 11, 2001 by Graydon Parrish.]