Art and the spirit of man

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Reply Sat 5 Sep, 2009 07:38 am
I was reading Hegel's Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics, and he writes that works of art communicate man's spiritual being into a concrete object. Then I remember someone telling me that man's conception of himself can be seen and traced through his art. I've tried mostly to avoid art because I'm convinced that I wouldn't know what I'm looking at, but I'm intrigued by this thought.

This might be a stretch but...anyone have a suggestion for an art compilation (you know, those really big books of copies of paintings) that reflects the changing conception of man as communicated by man through art? If I'm being too lazy (in asking for one be-all end-all book), just tell me straight :Glasses:
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 5 Sep, 2009 08:38 am
@Labyrinth,
Labyrinth;88242 wrote:
I was reading Hegel's Intoductory Lectures on Aesthetics, and he writes that works of art communicate man's spiritual being into a concrete object. Then I remember someone telling me that man's conception of himself can be seen and traced through his art. I've tried mostly to avoid art because I'm convinced that I wouldn't know what I'm looking at, but I'm intrigued by this thought.


Sorry, I cannot help you with a single book. I have read books that explore the relationship to art and concurrent changes in society and science during periods of time - e.g. Impressionism and Cubism.

However, I do really want to encourage you in this exploration. I did not really start studying art until I was 50. I played the piano as a child, and did some photography but otherwise had little contact.

Art teaches you about the nature of feeling. When I dance (Latin, Swing, etc.), sing, draw, it is all about what is coming from inside. There is very little thinking and the thinking normally only happens at the beginning when you are learning. After that, it all comes from the spirit within you. So, it is all about nurturing the creative side of life, and it does create a whole different being within oneself when that side begins to emerge. It also creates a whole new perception of life.

So, by all means! I am sure you will enjoy it reading about it - and then try it!

Rich
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Sat 5 Sep, 2009 09:38 am
@richrf,
As far as art overview books, I'd recommend you start with this one: Amazon.com: The 20th Century Art Book (Phaidon) (9780714847986): Editors of Phaidon Press: Books

Also, as someone who makes most of his living dealing with art, artists, and art distribution, I'd like amend Hegel's statement to read that "some works of art communicate man's spiritual being into a concrete object."

If you're interested in someone's spiritual take on art, check out: Amazon.com: The Mission of Art (9781570625459): Alex Grey, Ken Wilber: Books

Tock
 
jgweed
 
Reply Sat 5 Sep, 2009 09:59 am
@Labyrinth,
One of the best works I know of is Kenneth Clark's Civilisation (Harper, 1969) which is a transcript of a series of PBS programmes about the relation of art in all its forms to civilisation through the ages. The profuse illustrations are generally discussed in relation to various period's intellectual movements as well as from strictly aesthetic, history-of-art-and-literature, perspective.
 
salima
 
Reply Sat 5 Sep, 2009 10:32 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;88287 wrote:
One of the best works I know of is Kenneth Clark's Civilisation (Harper, 1969) which is a transcript of a series of PBS programmes about the relation of art in all its forms to civilisation through the ages. The profuse illustrations are generally discussed in relation to various period's intellectual movements as well as from strictly aesthetic, history-of-art-and-literature, perspective.


this sounds really interesting. i was going to comment that wanting to look only for paintings isnt going to be enough. there is so much more to art than painting-there is sculpture, music and dance, architecture, etc and it would be great to compare the evolution of each of them in different historical periods and note consistency.
 
Labyrinth
 
Reply Sat 5 Sep, 2009 01:59 pm
@salima,
Thanks everyone. That Civilization sounds especially interesting. Turns out this type of study is also by some referred to as anthropology of art, and for those that are interested...


  • Hatcher, Evelyn Payne. Art As Culture: An Introduction to the Anthropology of Art ISBN 0-89789-628-9
  • Coote, Jeremy and Anthony Shelton. Anthropology Art and Aesthetics ISBN 0-19-827945-0
  • Gell, Alfred. Art and Agency: An Anthropological Theory of Art ISBN 0-19-828014-9

I guess I'll have to drag my lazy corpse to the Philadelphia Art Museum after all these years living nearby. I should do it now while my daughter is too young to be aware enough of her surroundings to yell, "This is boring! Let's go somewhere else!" I don't know what it is with me and these petty feelings of wanting to avoid such-and-such a book or such-and-such a field. Well, myself becoming willing to finally look at some art shows me that maybe for me, there is hope?!?!?

However, I'll leave the dancing to you, Rich. :Glasses:
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 5 Sep, 2009 02:07 pm
@Labyrinth,
Labyrinth;88338 wrote:
However, I'll leave the dancing to you, Rich. :Glasses:


I am watching a great Netflix move right now called the Impressionists. If you can get a hold of it or something similar, I think you will enjoy the art that much more.

As for dancing - GOTTA DANCE!!!

Rich
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2009 01:32 am
@Labyrinth,
I like those Introductory Lectures. Man carves a Bison out of wood and gets to contemplate it, because its not edible. It's like the birth of the concept, but visually. Because it's an abstract bison, not a particular bison.

I also loved reading Spengler on art.. He ties a civilization's art to its philosophy, its mathematics, its music, its drama, its burial of the dead. He reminds me of Hegel, but his style is much more user friendly. He also presents Goethe as a philosopher.

I've enjoyed art books that start as far back as Cave Art and end with Conceptual Art or Happenings, etc. Great wide-angle perspective.
 
Magnus phil
 
Reply Sun 31 Jan, 2010 09:28 am
@Reconstructo,
I am looking forward to reading Neural Imagination:Aesthetic and Neuroscientific Introduction to the Arts. Has anyone else read it?

Neural Imagination, Irving Massey, Book - Barnes & Noble
 
 

 
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