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

World Economy, Rights, and the Cultural Sphere

Lecture Series On World Economy

worldecon_cov

I am reading Steiner’s lecture series on World Economy. It has been important to me to understand the three ideal ordering spheres of contemporary society in order to better understand the role of the cultural sphere, which art is a part of. It takes a long time for me to let things sink in. Within the cultural sphere, I participate in education, the arts and science in my own small way.

I want to understand the interrelationship of the 3 spheres of human activity. One of the reasons I took up teaching was to to try to free myself economically so that my art would not depend so much on sales, that and the feeling that I finally had something to teach that might benefit my students. I also felt I could now reenter the world as it is. Working in a historic village for 19 years hid the truth that my heart, soul and mind were modern and contemporary, despite the apparent anachronisms in my work.

I am not apolitical but politics and the realm of rights is not my main focus, though I am involved to some extent, and cannot help but be aware of current political issues. I see much of the art that is critically acceptable today as overlapping into economics and the realm of rights and politics. I am uneasy with art not playing, primarily a cultural and ultimately spiritual role in human development. However, I celebrate the present eclecticism and range of contemporary art.

I have done a few political pieces in the past. One was recently accepted into a juried exhibit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Make America Great Again”, Political Jug with All-Seeing Eye, 8 inches X 5 inches, ceramic, cone 6, gas fired, reduction stoneware, with local mesquite ash glaze and low fire decals, 2018

Here is my explanation of the piece:

“I teach in a contemporary university but have a background and reputation as a traditional potter, versed in Americana. When I was doing this piece I was thinking of our present political climate, rampant conspiracy theories reaching into the occult foundations of democracy in Free Masonry, but also of the traditions and pugilistic nature of our politics of the past, where liquor bought votes at the polling booths, and fights often broke out. Then there is the history of the all-seeing eye which includes imagery from pre-Columbian indigenous cultures, including the southeast where I am from.

So much is backwards from what we might wish for our struggling democracy. What does it really mean to be ‘great’, as opposed to the least common denominator present in clichés that, if not devoid of meaning, are merely synonymous with ‘power’ which was never really what made, or makes America great. It is also a little bit of a joke”

 

 

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

“Encountering Our Humanity”, An Invitation to Artists in North America working out of Anthroposophy

Invitation

David Adams recently sent out an invitation to  “Visual Artists Inspired by Anthroposophy”. For artists working out of Anthroposophy, please open and read the attached 2-page Invitation to submit work to an open exhibition to be held in Ottawa, Canada, on the theme of “Encountering Our Humanity,” in August 2016: Final Invitation to Anthroposophical Artists in North America

Anthroposophically Inspired Artists

I  am  sure it has been posted for a while, but I just found several Anthroposophically inspired artists, prominent in the history of 20th century art, listed at the Rudolf Steiner Archives. It is interesting to see Cy Twombly and Jackson Pollock listed. I would like to add Pousette Dart. He was one of the original Abstract Expressionists. I was fortunate to see his retrospective, just before his death, at the Columbus Museum in Columbus GA, and noticed in the exhibition literature Rudolf Steiner mentioned.

Statement of Purpose

     Welcome to Art and Anthroposophy. I am beginning this as an ongoing project for the purpose of presenting Anthroposophical art, Anthroposophical topics in art, and discussing, viewing, and creating art from an Anthroposophical perspective. This will include philosophical, spiritual, and material topics, with indications and examples of theory and practice, as well as images of artists’ work. I also intend to include Anthroposophical art in historical context.

    One area I would like to include, that I hope will be of use, is information and resources for materials, processes, and techniques, In other words, the realm of artistic practice.

     Another important intended purpose of this site is to give artists interested in the ideas of Rudolf Steiner, in art as a spiritual practice, or in art from a spiritual perspective, suggested resources and inspiration.

     Relevant suggestions, links, images, and articles are welcome. Please pass this site on and consider contributing to make this site better!

Contact me directly at: hawksstephen@gmail.com

My work may be viewed at: http://gshawks.wordpress.com/

Thanks,

Stephen Hawks