AN ART OF OUR OWN: The Spiritual in Twentieth Century Art by Roger Lipsey

AN ART OF OUR OWN: The Spiritual in Twentieth Century Art

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Lipsey (Coomaraswamy: His Life and Work) compellingly demonstrates here that 20th-century art set out to be an art of spiritual content. He has gathered a literary record of artists' diaries, interviews, and writings, as well as 120 illustrations of significant works of masters from CÉzanne through Brancusi, Noguchi, and Rothko. Readers are able to see for themselves both how this spiritual content has been manifested--and to what degree it has been overlooked in the current ""postmodern"" confusion. Lipsey is eloquent and knowledgeable in his presentation. Without an ax to grind, always respecting the varied intentions of the artists themselves, and never lapsing into jargon, he illuminates the movements that fueled this search--from Theosophy and Buddhism to Jungian thought and humanistic psychology. While of unusual value as a retrospective study, his work is unique in its goal of ""gathering working materials for the future."" In essays on the role of chance in the artistic process, the apprenticeship tradition, the worlds of the marketplace and the studio, Lipsey's care is for artists working today and in the future. Kandinsky's The Spiritual in Art, written near the beginning of the century, sounded a note; this book shows how this note has been amplified and elaborated through the decades. Lipsey's search for ""eloquent signs of the reality of ourselves and our world"" is an invaluable reminder of the purposes and possibilities of modern art. Exemplary.

Pub Date: Nov. 25th, 1988
Publisher: Shambhala--dist. by Random House