- An Introductory Reader
Selected lectures and excerpts by Rudolf
Compiled with an introduction and
by Anne Stockton
Rudolf Steiner's vision of Art, as with all
forms of human expression, is that it should be a reflection of the
human being's experience of the divine. He did not mean this in any
vague, mystical or fanciful way. As one of the very few conscious
seers in modern times, he was able to experience the realms from
which humanity and all nature descend into material-spacial
existence. He was able to speak with a certainty and in modern
language of the qualitative and highly dynamic worlds which are the
soul and spiritual origins of everything we experience as
phenomenal existence - including our own personal existence.
The means by which the living nature of
these realms can be expressed is not through rationally expressed
concepts - which can really only point to the outer quantitative
perceptions from which they are derived (i.e. the perceived
material world) - but through the various languages of Art. It is
through Art that the human being expresses the qualitative
experiences of life - and yet Steiner takes this even further.
the recent history of art - especially in western cultures - the
artistic expressions of life have become less a product of spiritual
inspiration and more an expression of one's personal experience that
has become identified with a purely materialised existence. Naturalistic and even highly
realistic representations of the physical world, completely devoid
any spiritual expression, have become
fashionably regarded as high art.
As humanity has descended into a highly
materialised and spiritually-excluded experience of life in recent
centuries, human art has followed suit. It is now little more than
expression of the subjective, the personal and the sensory. Modern
non-representational art is an instinctive back-lash against this
but remains notational and does not move beyond the personal.
Contemporary art remains unhappily isolated from the source of its
own being - the realms of soul and spirit.
Steiner, by contrast, seeks to unite the
personal human experience with the spiritual origin of art, so that
the artist is spiritually conscious of the realm from which inspired
expression descends into human existence. He or she is neither
isolated from the spirit - as in much contemporary art - nor
acts as a kind of automatic mediumistic channel, but as a conscious
and co-operative instrument of the spirit.
Some truly sensed experience of the
spiritual must be developed in human consciousness for this
advancement in art to take place - and it is this that Steiner
strives to help the artist to achieve in the lectures included in
this and others of his works on Art.
Topics in this particular collection include: the “being of the arts”; Goethe as the founder of a
new science of aesthetics; technology and art; at the turn of each
new millennium; the task of modern art and architecture; the living
walls; the glass windows; colour on the walls; form—moving the
circle; the seven planetary capitals in the first Goetheanum; the
model and the statue “The Representative of Humanity”; colour and
Rudolf Steiner Press
Trans. revised C. von Arnim
272pp; paperback; 17 x 12 cm
ISBN: 1 85584 138 X
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Art - An Introductory Reader - Rudolf Steiner
Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) became a respected and
well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar,
particularly known for his work on Goethe's scientific writings. At
the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his
earlier philosophical principles into an approach to methodical
research of psychological and spiritual phenomena. His multifaceted
genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine,
philosophy, religion, education (Waldorf schools), special education
(the Camphill movement), economics, agriculture (biodynamics),
science, architecture, and the arts (drama, speech and eurythmy). In
1924 he founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which has
branches throughout the world.
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