Cardboard Chronicles: The Biblical Art of Rudolph Bostic brings together twenty-three paintings from one of America’s most intriguing self-taught artists. His vibrant images, rendered in enamel and house paint with a shimmering glossy finish on cardboard, and his flamboyant use of color put him in a category all his own.
Bostic, who lives in Savannah, Georgia, says that his inspirations come from many sources, “especially the Bible and reproductions of the works of the masters such as Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.”
Bostic’s work was featured in the 2005 inaugural exhibition of the Hurn Museum of Contemporary Folk Art in Savannah, GA, and his art is in the permanent collection of the High Museum in Atlanta, GA. A number of the most prestigious southern galleries of folk art represent Bostic’s paintings.
Cardboard Chronicles begins with The Creation of Adam, Adam and Eve Naming the Animals, and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, then turns to the colorful story of Noah. Many of his paintings portray the life of Christ. Comforting Mary (Annunciation) begins this journey, and Nativity with Angel portrays the incarnation of the Lord. Peace Be Still is a stunning interpretation of his encounter on the Sea of Galilee with his disciples, and The Last Supper is a real testimony to the influence of historical art on Bostic’s work. The show includes images of the death of Christ, Crucifixion, Pietà, and Lamentation/Two Women at Jesus’ Death. Angels Receive Orders from Jesus offers the finale to Cardboard Chronicles: The Biblical Art of Rudolph Bostic.
Rudolph Valentino Bostic was creating recycled cardboard art long before the current “green art” trend began. Born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1941, he had a passion to paint but limited means for art materials. He was working at the Derst Baking Company in Savannah when he got the inspired idea in 1979 of using its discarded cardboard barrel tops and boxes as his canvases. “I had decided on the subject of my art,” recalls Bostic, “because the Bible had story after story to tell. I just had to pick what to paint them on. I ran my hand across these big old cardboard sheets. They were so smooth. This was what I wanted.”
The pieces in the Bowden Collections Exhibition, Cardboard Chronicles: The Biblical Art of Rudolph Bostic, offer a fascinating glimpse into the education of a self-taught artist, as we study Bostic’s experiments with types of paint and color palettes, compositional techniques, and framing devices in his highly personal style of cardboard art.
These unique cardboard creations have won Bostic a niche in the booming folk/outsider art market of the American South. His works can be found in the collections of the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., the American Folk Art Museum in New York, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. But the cardboard craftsman remains largely indifferent to the contemporary art scene. “I’ve looked at the work of modern artists, but they’re into strange symbols and things that aren’t real,” he says. “For me the Bible is the real thing.”
Bostic is content to go on creating his cardboard chronicles whether they sell or not, filling his second floor attic with dozens of finished panels on biblical themes. Like a medieval artisan, this modern painter makes sacred art for the glory of God, transforming waste paper into shimmering visions of faith.
The exhibition is free to the public. Contact Story Gallery director Tim Logan for more information or to arrange group visits.
November 9–January 6, 2019
1201 NE McCollum Drive
Or by appointment for special group showings
A Bend in the Road: Paintings by Carol Hart
January 13 — March 31, 2019
Grace Point Church Artists and Collectors
April 18 – May 17
Grace Point Senior Gallery
May 19 – 29, 2018
First Fruits: A CIVA Collection
June 9 – August 4, 2019
Our Story Art Camp (ages 6-15)
July 22 – 27, 2019
Immanuel: God With us
November 3, 2019 – January 26, 2020