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Art - Rudolf Steiner - a selection of lectures, etc. on the basis of anthroposophical art.Art - An Introductory Reader
Selected lectures and excerpts by Rudolf Steiner
Compiled with an introduction and notes
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.

In 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 faces; physiognomies.

Rudolf Steiner Press
Trans. revised C. von Arnim
272pp; paperback; 17 x 12 cm
ISBN: 1 85584 138 X

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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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