Hilma af Klint, Albert Steffen, Gerard Wagner

Below is an email message I received from Lightforms Art Center. I do not really known much about Albert Steffen’s Artistic work though I have read about his life and some of his writing, but this was years ago. In retrospect I can see his influence among anthroposophic artists. I have been aware of Gerard Wagner work for a while and if my memory is clear, I did some of his painting exercises several decades ago. Hilma af Klint, I have posted about in the past. Her work, though it effects me strongly, as does abstract art in general, I have not been initiated into her content and do not feel that I can truly speak about her work with any clarity, other than the feeling content, and by assessing the elements and principles of art and design within the work. These come out of modernist deconstruction but have their usefulness, especially if one does not simply use them to dissect without any feeling or thought for the overall intention of the artist. I will investigate Albert Steffen’s artistic practice more and perhaps post on my findings later. I may also write about Gerard Wagner as well.

Hilma af Klint, Albert Steffen, Gerard Wagner             For the second half of our Hilma af Klint Show The Spiritual and the Divine we are excited to pair Hilma af Klint’s work with two of her contemporaries: Albert Steffen and Gerard Wagner who worked in Dornach, Switzerland at the same time, creating art works inspired by the lectures, indications on the inner path and artistic work of Rudolf Steiner. We selected paintings of both Steffen and Wagner that touch on the same themes as the Hilma af Klint series here in the gallery at Lightforms. Plants, angels, nature beings and trees. The Tree of Knowledge Series by Hilma af Klint is an abstracted version of a tree in which flowers, birds and angels feature prominently. The striking difference of the style, approach and artistic expression of each artist is a strong testament to the ethical individualism that Rudolf Steiner encouraged with his writings, lectures and private consultations. We hope that the comparative juxtaposition of showing these three artists simultaneously is offering a small glimpse into the lively interactions of the members of the anthroposophical society in the early days of its existence.
*SHOW ENDS AUGUST 9TH, 2020
Hilma af Klint, TheTree of Knowledge Series
Albert Steffen
Gerard Wagner

Lightforms Art Center, Hudson, NY

https://www.lightformsartcenter.com/

There has been a very exciting development in Hudson, NY, the creation of Lightforms Gallery:

“Lightforms is a center for cultural renewal that brings creative artists and their artwork into the public domain in innovative ways that stimulate dialogue around the inner and outer challenges of our time and attempts to serve the spiritual needs of human beings in their daily lives. 

Lightforms intends to realize its mission through public presentations, exhibitions, installations, workshops, lectures, conferences, and performances; an artist-in-residence program; a research center for the further development and understanding of the spiritual foundations of the visual arts; a possible artists grants program; a permanent collection/archive; publications; and a small gift shop.”

I once had the privilege of attending an arts conference in Hudson and this is a fine and powerful addition to what already exists in the area. The town is a beautiful place to visit and still has much of the allure that was once captured by the Hudson River school of artists, a group of artists also inspired by the forms of light.

Frederic Edwin Church, Sunset across the Hudson Valley, 1870

Frederic Edwin Church, Sunset across the Hudson Valley, 1870

Hudson , NY

Hudson , NY

Considering Joseph Beuys

Joseph-Beuys-How-to-Explain-Pictures-to-a-Dead-Hare

How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare

My interest in the work of Joseph Beuys runs parallel to my introduction to many of the people active in the American Arts section of the Anthroposophical Society in America, early in this century. While attending grad school, I made Beuys the topic of one of my art history term papers. I sent the paper to someone in the arts section and was understandably rebuked for not having researched properly,  among other things. I had not had access to or time to read what had been written about Beuys from within the Anthroposophical movement except minimally.  It was also inferred that my own artistic endeavors involving the manifestation of Anthroposophy was more important than my weak critical analysis. This too was right, which I tried to do, in my small way, in the thesis work I produced at the time.

Never the less, I think it might be of interest to some, especially those unfamiliar with the esoteric roots of Beuys work. It may serve as a basic introduction, pointing out, but with limited esoteric content.

For any that might question my closing assessment of Beuys work in this paper and to avoid misunderstanding in general, It is not meant as a condemnation but as an empathetic gesture; I owe Beuys a lot; If the artistic path is not a path to freedom, then what is it?

Here is the link:

Esoteric Foundations of Joseph Beuys’ Art in the Teachings of Rudolf Steiner

Note: The above file is compiled from scanned pages, due to my poor typing skills and for the sake of expediency.  Consequently, paradoxically and unfortunately, I was unable to edit out the typos and the grading marks.

Finished Tile Mural

I finally finished the 2nd tile mural in a series on Metamorphosis of form. The first was called Toward Metamorphic Apotheosis. In some ways I think this one is better. 

Tile Series 2

 

Hilma af Klint

I have decided to retire the Hilma af Klint page for a while for various reasons until I can adequately access the works and make sure the images are in the public domain. Until then here is a link to the Google search for her work: Hilma af Klint.

exhibition: ‘hilma af klint – artist, researcher, medium’ at moderna museet malmö

THE GRAIL TRIPTYCH

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The Grail Triptych, 1909-13, by Anna May von Richter [Rychter], Destroyed by bombing during World War II.

Something that Steiner said in his lectures on art (The Arts and Their Mission) struck me very strongly (among other things),  that it didn’t matter whether  art used naturalism or not but what mattered was whether the spirit shone through in the work. This is an inadequate paraphrase. I recently came across an early 20th century artist that proved this to me. Her style was so unique and unlike other Anthroposophical art practitioners that It convinced me of what I was sure was possible. There is a real embodiment of Anthroposophical experience but with a very different style to other Anthroposophical artists. I came across this extraordinary image along with an essay by Margarethe Hauschka about the work, while looking for something else on the Internet. A translation of the essay by Sonia Homrich may be found at the following link: https://plus.google.com/+SoniaHomrich/posts/LtR4qRoTy4A

 My consciousness continually draws parallels from sometimes disparate things. When I saw this image what came to mind was a great 20th century work,  Der Krieg, by Otto Dix. Anna May von Richter’s work seems an antidote to the horror and suffering depicted in Dix’s work.

The promise of Early 20th century spiritual trans-formative impulses, though devastated by 2 World Wars and numerous other disasters perpetrated and perpetuated by human beings, has never-the-less survived in the seeds of that promise, which continue to sprout and grow, despite the continuation of human horrors, into the 21st Century. I bare witness to this in my life and in the lives of those I encounter who continue to strive for the spirit in the midst of grief and suffering, preparing the way for joy and wisdom.

 

 

The Art Section Newsletter

I just received the most recent issue of theNewsletterheadproduced in the USA by David Adams. I was struck once again by the diversity of what each issue contains and heartened by what seems to be an increased inclusiveness among practitioners and participants influenced by Anthroposophy in the Arts.

PDFs of most back issues can be found posted on the website of the Visual Arts Section in North American:  http://northamericanartsection.blogspot.com/

Here are some Specific images from the most recent issue, both from an article discussing “Anthroposphical Art” by Reinhold Fäth entitled:  From: The Aenigma Constellation -One Hundred Years of Anthroposophical Art.

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Adelheid Petersen It Is Speaking out of Three Black Circles 1913 gouache, watercolor on paper 33.6 x 41.5 cm, Rudolf Steiner Archive, Dornach

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Hilma af Klimt Dove No. 2, Group IC, Series UW 1915 oil on canvas 151 x 152 cm, Hilma af Klimt Foundation, Stockholm

For a subscription to The Art Section Newsletter, Click this Link:

ASNL SubscrpsLetr Dec15

Free Columbia Fund Raising Campaign

Free Columbia is asking for this year’s support funding. You may follow the links on their web site to Contribute. I am also sure they will take donations year round:

 https://dana.io/free-columbia

From their website:

“Free Columbia is a six month full-time course exploring art, nature study, and social change in relation to the spiritual aspects of the human being and the world. And not only that! We also offer short courses, conferences, and events throughout the year, as well as courses for disabled adults, classes in prison, and an after-school program for kids. For the last 5 years we’ve been ACCESSIBLE TO ALL (funded 100% by gifts with no set tuitions or materials costs) but we’ve always had to fundraise as we went. Now we’re fundraising all of next year in order to become PAY-IT-FORWARD. In this way, new students will experience the course completely as a gift, and then can give and help fundraise for future students… Donate today!”

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Arild Rosenkrantz

I have always liked the art of Arild Rosenkrantz since I first saw images of his work. His paintings are some of the best from the earliest period in the development in Anthroposophical art following the  indications from Rudolf Steiner. His skill is exceptional as is his mastery for integrating the traditions of western painting and this new impulse in art. I have thought about his work for a while now and still ask myself: “Are the stylistic tendencies in his art, those characteristics which indicate a personal perspective and tie him to a specific time in the history of art,  a hindrance to the over-all purpose of his artistic path, or are they a necessary and important aspect of his and any other artist’s work expressing  a consciously spiritual path.” This relates to my own inner dialogue concerning the place of the personal vs. the universal in art. I was pleased to find the following link to his works today and post it here and in the links Section:

http://www.arildrosenkrantz.dk/uk/uk_nn.html

dyreverdenen maria michael2 planteverden