Art and Culture

January 18, 2010 at 4:04 pm Leave a comment

This article on the website of First Things dovetails quite well with my current reading of Philip Rieff’s series Sacred Order/Social Order. The article is probably easier to read, however.

There could be no starker—or more revealing—contrast than the exhibitions at London’s major museums this winter: “Pop Life: Art in a Material World” at Tate Britain and “The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture 1600-1700” at the National Gallery. The works they show come not merely from separate times and places but also from separate minds. These are not art shows so much as windows into two entirely different ways of understanding reality.

“Pop Life” presents the argument that reality is at root material and it is up to us to make the most of it. “The Sacred Made Real” portrays a world in which the material is a stepping stone or a promise of something beyond what we see. In one, we are the measure of all things. In the other, we are part of something much larger than ourselves.


Entry filed under: 1.

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