Each one of these three pieces has a different take on what the artist personally believes spirituality is. Alex Grey is that of a visionary artist best known for his depictions of the human DOD.
Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited. Rather than interrogating the relationship between art and religion, more pertinent questions in the contemporary age are: What is the nature of the dialogue between art and spirituality, how do the two come together, and what form does the meeting take?
The range of multimedia brings novel forms of encounter that occur outside the gallery and other spaces and involve audio-visual and other means of articulating the spiritual. These new forms make different demands on viewers; they create greater intimacy often through immersionboth physically and psychologically, and one of the consequences of having greater intimacy can be a heightened awareness that increases presentness and a sense of embodiment.
What we learn is that there are potentially as many interpretations of spirituality as there are viewers. Whether referring to specific religious traditions or not, spirituality concerns the feelings stirred or probed by the art, which may prompt viewers to reflect on the meaning of life, often drawing on existential questions, such as: Why are we here?
What are we doing?
What happens after life ends? A sense of the spiritual also gives people the sense of belonging that they crave, a feeling that they are part of something greater than the self.
The spiritual also contrasts with the material, where the material concerns acquisitiveness and worldly success. Spirituality seeks to transcend worldly goods and ambitions. The relationship between art and spirituality has been historically mediated through the relationship between art and religion, something which has been periodically problematic throughout the centuries.
But in spite of the decline of organized religion in Western Europe, there has been growing interest in spirituality in areas of cultural life, especially in art. Many people no longer view traditional religion, in the sense of institutionalized religion, as adequate for exploring their spirituality and look to new forms of spirituality as alternatives for finding ultimate meaning and addressing the profound needs of humanity.
The process of creating art is often described in quasi-mystical terms, whereby the artist-as-shaman unleashes or channels special creative powers in a process of making that transports the viewer to a different realm of the imaginary. Given these affinities between the roles of art and spirituality, it is unsurprising that spirituality is an enduring feature of contemporary art.
Before looking at how spirituality is articulated in cultural life, it is imperative to set down its forms. One of the first points to make is that historical religions are comprised of spiritual traditions that vary in significant ways but which can be considered within the framework of religious discourse.
There are also spiritual forms that exist in alternative and non-doctrinal religions that are not classified as organized or institutional religions, such as new religious movements NRMs.
Spirituality also exists outside of theology or religious practice, where it is allied to ethical issues about identity, selfhood, and human interaction in the world. Although from a secular viewpoint spiritual concerns do not involve religious views about the supernatural, secular spirituality should not be opposed to religious spirituality because they have shared concerns, even if the roots of their concerns are different.
Philip Sheldrake provides some useful initial definitions of spirituality: Sheldrake also describes the study of spirituality as an academic discipline and discourse. Historically, this delineates work from the s onward but earlier work, where pertinent, will be discussed.
Also addressed will be artworks that express either directly or indirectly spirituality or that give rise to interpretations of spirituality.
In some cases, artists are motivated by particular religious traditions; in other cases, the art broadly reflects a personal or communal vision about the nature of reality.
What is perhaps more important than being able to identify or attribute a specific type of spirituality, if that is indeed possible, is to recognize that contemporary art provides an avenue for the spiritual. The Separation of Art and Religion in Modernism In Western art history prior to the 20th century, spirituality was often subsumed by religion.
The relationship between art and religion was fractious; at times they were mutually reinforcing, while at others there was dissension because of the lack of unanimity about the image.
The crux of the Iconoclastic controversies of the 8th and 9th centuries, and later the Protestant Reformation, was not so much a denial of the importance of imagery but, on the contrary, was about just how much power images held.With these four pieces of art, I intend to explore the timeless interest in spirituality in art as a medium for the expression of ManвЂ™s Continue for 1 more page» • Join now to read essay Spirituality in Art and other term papers or research documents.
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Spirituality and Contemporary Art Summary and Keywords The artworks under discussion detail the scope and breadth of art that can be described as spiritual by virtue of its revelatory, revitalizing and contemplative capacities. This essay will assess and discuss three contemporary artists that address the idea or concept of ‘spirituality’ in their work.
Spirituality is a term that lacks certain defiance or a definitive definition, although social scientists have defined spirituality as the search for ‘the scared’; which is broadly defined as that which is set.