William Kurelek

Blind Leading the Blind

1966
Based on the parable from Matthew 15:14, the title and subject of this work are derived from Pieter Bruegel the Elder's (c. 1520-1569) painting from 1568 of the same name. Not only are the figures physically blind - they wear dark glasses and fall into the water - but in the eyes of the Roman Catholic artist they demonstrate their spiritual blindness in brandishing the Jehovah's Witnesses magazine "Awake"!. William Kurelek converted to Catholicism in 1957 at the age of 29. Well aware of the tensions between his faith and that of the Jehovah's Witnesses, he devoted his art to "paint the sense of impending doom of our times; and the way of salvation too."
Title
Blind Leading the Blind
Date
1966
Medium
Painting
Materials
oil, lacquer, and graphite over gesso on masonite
Dimensions
67.4 x 93.6 cm
Nationality
Canadian
Credit line
Purchased 1985
Rights
courtesy the Estate of William Kurelek
Accession number
28801

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