Brad BurkhartPosted July 31, 2006:

Directions for Art in the 21st Century.

In late 2001, I serendipitously came across a book by Suzi Gablik called Has Modernism Failed? I was impressed by the succinct analysis of modern art offered in this book which contrasted with the obfuscating writings of most contemporary art critics. Ms Gablik's point was that art has somehow gone astray at the end of the 20th Century and is no longer socially or spiritually relevant. This point resonated with my own thoughts. In developing the direction of my own art I have increasingly moved away from the modern idea that art is a socially and spiritually disconnected, technically learned, beauty-making or philosophical process. Instead, I have become increasing interested in viewing art as at the core of culture making and individual meaning. I have concluded that modernism reflects the final dominance of scientific thought over the evolution of culture....

Posted October 2, 2003:

Sculptor Bradley Burkhart responds to Suzi Gablik's article, "The Unmaking of Modernism".

"The rational approach emphasizes command over the physical world through quantifiable observation and lauds the values of the individual over the community. It goes without saying that the two approaches have had a natural and mutual antagonism. When rationality moved to the forefront, it was fought bitterly at first. Subsequently, it was viewed as a valuable new tool. Eventually, however, it bullied its way into being the only reliable means for knowing reality. As a consequence, intuition has been marginalized and treated as unreliable or even malevolent by current decision makers. In the process, the currency of meaning has become quantity not quality; and, as you have commented, the spiritual underpinnings of culture have been devastated...."
Read the full text of Brad's letter here.

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