Within the evangelical community and circles of Christian faith, art is often viewed with skepticism, if not disdain. Art historian and former art gallery curator David Siedell presents a different perspective in this book. The latest book in the Cultural Exegesis series, God in the Gallery
is a welcome addition to the scant volumes that cover an evangelical reflection on the arts and the aesthetic life. Siedell ultimately contends that art is not antithetical or hostile to Christianity. Instead, it's in dialogue with it as well as a gift as opposed to a threat to faith. The author extracts insights about worldviews from heavyweight thinkers such as philosopher David Naugle as well as Christian apologist Francis Schaeffer. Furthermore, he constructs a framework for interpreting modern art "in Christ." Siedell also examines the role of visual art in worship and Christian experience. The book is enhanced with images from such artists as Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Enrique Martmnez Celeya, and others.
God in the Gallery will serve as an essential text for Christian colleges that emphasize worldview thinking and integration of faith and learning and it will play a helpful role in curriculum development and will reshape the direction of campus art departments and galleries.
Daniel A. Siedell (Ph.D., University of Iowa), formerly curator of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is assistant professor of modern and contemporary history, theory, and criticism at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He has published numerous articles in Books & Culture, Christian Scholar's Review, Studies in Religious Perspectives,and various other journals.
Is contemporary art a friend or foe of Christianity? Art historian, critic, and curator Daniel Siedell, addresses this question and presents a framework for interpreting art from a Christian worldview in God in the Gallery: A Christian Embrace of Modern Art. As such, it is an excellent companion to Francis Schaeffer's classic Art and the Bible. Divided into three parts--"Theology," "History," and "Practice"--God in the Gallery demonstrates that art is in conversation with and not opposed to the Christian faith. In addition, this book is beautifully enhanced with images from such artists as Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Enrique Martínez Celaya, and others. Readers of this book will include professors, students, artists, and anyone interested in Christianity and culture.
Daniel A. Siedell (PhD, University of Iowa) is director of theological and cultural practices at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and chancellor at Knox Seminary. He previously served as professor of modern and contemporary art history at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and was curator of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has published numerous articles in Books & Culture, Christian Scholar's Review, Studies in Religious Perspectives, and various other journals.
Siedell likens Christians' encounter with modern and contemporary fine art to St. Paul's discovery of the altar to an unknown god on Mars Hill (Acts 17:23). Responding to those who have called for a separate Christian art (particularly Francis Schaeffer and H.R. Rookmaaker), he strives to reveal what modern art is only able to point to, not to name. Siedell uses his in-depth knowledge as former art curator and current assistant professor of art history at the University of Nebraska at Omaha to argue that perceptions of this legitimate cultural practice can be nourished by a robust Nicene Christianity. These disparate essays tackle subjects both ambitious (a history of modern art) and esoteric (a single work by artist Enrique Martínez Celaya; the conflict between art critics Harold Rosenberg and Clement Greenberg). Siedell's love of contemporary art is obvious, but his sometimes abstruse writing doesn't always clarify his formidable subject; indeed, it may reinforce some Christians' view of modern art as unapproachable. His primary audience is clearly art specialists, whether students or professionals; Siedell's interesting thesis may not reach the larger audience it deserves. (Oct.)Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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