REALIST ART OR ABSTRACT SPIRITUALITY?

There is a long established connection between abstract art and spirituality, highlighted by Vassily Kandinsky’s well-known book, Concerning the Spiritual in Art.  This connection seems to be derived, at least in part, from the Biblical command against the creation of images for worship – a command taken very seriously in Judaism and Islam.  As Piet Mondrian stated, “For our senses these are two different things—the spiritual and the material. To approach the spiritual in art, one will make as little use as possible of reality, because reality is opposed to the spiritual.”   There was an exhibit exploring 100 years of the spiritual in modern art, co-sponsored by the Contemporary Jewish Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.  The show was called Beyond Belief, and it placed spirituality at the top of the list in the reading of art.  It is interesting how the use of realist art is so common in churches today, while at the same time the museums are sponsoring shows on abstract art and spirituality!

The attached painting is called Fugue, by Vassily Kandinsky.

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