The Saints of Modern Art: The Ascetic Ideal in Contemporary Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Music, Dance



The Saints of Modern Art: The Ascetic Ideal in Contemporary Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Music, Dance
Despite the austere sound of asceticism as the premise for a study of contemporary art and thought, this is a book that is meant to bring the kind of intense pleasure to readers that it brought to me as I wrote it. These essays are offered to be enjoyed, not as a monolithic attempt to account for the evolution of Modernist aesthetics through the rubric of self-denial nor as a definition of one ascetic ideal after which all great Modern art is in some way fashioned. This is a series of interconnected essays, each as short and as jargon-free as possible, on a very wide spectrum of artists and thinkers who fostered an asceticism that is so individualized as to defy generalization. The pleasure of considering this diverse group of thinkers and artists will, I hope, arise from the realization that asceticism can be so varied and, in that way, so alive at a time when its religious foundations have all but crumbled.
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