Contemporary Church Art

Contemporary Church Art

Contemporary Church Art

Contemporary Church Art

Excerpt

This book IS a discussion of church art today. It is not concerned with the general question of works of art with Christian themes, but with the construction of the church itself and with such pictures, statues, furnishings and vestments as may find a place within it. The examples chosen are ones which we consider legitimate, or at any rate fruitful and important. We have taken them where we found them. Our illustrations were not chosen for the perfection of their artistic achievement but for their representative qualities. The text is intended to clarify the situation and interpret the works shown. It aims at giving an answer from the history of Western art to those who ask where twentieth-century art stands. Considerable space is devoted to this, because misunderstandings of legitimate contemporary art always resort to historical arguments. On this historical survey is based a discussion of the potentialities and limitations of church art in our time, from repository trash to abstract painting.

The first essay is an attempt to deal in outline with the questions provoked, in friend and foe alike, by the ecclesiastical buildings and pictures produced by contemporary architects and artists. The second endeavours to answer those questions which are put by the artist-- all too often in vain--to the Church in her rôle as patron. It outlines the theological context and the liturgical data which must be the point of departure for the building and adornment of the church.

This book has been produced in the hope that it will not only provide some much-needed guidance for patrons and artists within the Catholic Church, but also contribute to a general discussion of architecture and the visual arts in the twentieth century.

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