Things to Ponder

Over the weekend, I visited a fantastic little used bookstore and picked up a slim little volume titled No More Secondhand Art, by Peter London. How have I never heard of this book before? Even in the first few pages, it has already proven weighty, challenging, and affirming. Here is one choice gem:

Art today seems primarily in the service of decoration, innovation, or self-expression. At the same time, we seem to have lost contact with the earlier, more profound functions of art, which have always had to do with personal and collective empowerment, personal growth, communion with this world, and the search for what lies beneath and above this world.


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About Sarah Jane

Working artist, university professor, community educator. Currently living in community at the Grunewald Guild, Leavenworth, WA.

2 responses to “Things to Ponder”

  1. anne says :

    hear, hear! sounds a great little book! have you come across another ‘little book’ called ‘A Tractate on Japanese Aesthetics’ [Paperback]
    Donald Ritchie. Another thought provoking way of looking at art and design.

  2. Sarah Jane says :

    Ooh, that sounds interesting. I really, really love Japanese aesthetics.

    Another “little book” that I’m particularly fond of is Wendy Richmond’s Art Without Compromise. It’s organized in a series of little meditations/exercises. Someone more organized than me could probably do them daily or weekly, but I just skipped around when I felt like it — and they were just as useful that way. 😉

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