On Sunday September 10th, 2023, The Fourth Universalist Society in the City of New York unveiled its third annual art installations with works by renowned artists Robert Rauschenberg and Carl Fudge.

Installed above the altar in the main sanctuary of Fourth Universalist, Rauschenberg’s piece titled Last Turn – Your Turn, seeks to align the values of the congregation more closely with the sacred space. The art on view asks us to take action regarding climate change on the one hand, and to consider the myriad of interpretations of the concept of Resurrection on the other.

Robert Rauschenberg created this piece as a powerful and urgent call to action against the looming threat of global warming. The title of the artwork succinctly captures the essence of Rauschenberg’s central idea. The situation is critical—perhaps our last chance—and it falls upon each of us to contribute to the solution. To emphasize our individual responsibility, Rauschenberg hand-wrote a pledge at the top of the work “… I pledge to make the earth a secure and hospitable place for present and future generations.” – Robert Rauschenberg, Last Turn–Your Turn, 1991.

Through a forceful visual vocabulary, the artist urges us to recognize climate change as a matter of social justice and the need for collective action.

Carl Fudge’s triptych From Dürer’s Resurrection is installed in the chapel at Fourth Universalist and offers a fresh perspective on Albrecht Dürer’s fifteenth century woodcut. Dürer’s phenomenal mastery of line has dazzled centuries of artists and remains a pinnacle of aesthetic achievement in the oldest printmaking technique. Were it not for the title, Fudge’s large abstract, black-and-white screen printed paintings provide no clue to the artist’s original inspiration. The fractured, intricate composition variously suggests a labyrinthian mesh, Rorschach shapes or computer code. The artist’s intent is to metamorphose Dürer’s depiction of a Divine miracle into a bewildering, enigmatic abstraction, while retaining the original spirit of wonder at transformation. This shift acknowledges the inherently unknowable nature of the Resurrection in any tangible form.

A service led by Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kwong, centered on the concerns highlighted in the art installations, will take place on Sunday October 22 at 11:00 a.m. For further information, images and to view the installations, please contact Office@FourthU.org. The art is on view to the public every Sunday morning before, during and after the 11:00 service and by appointment, commencing September 10 and running through June of 2023.