Spirituality in contemporary art

I have just finished reading the book “Spirituality in Contemporary Art – The idea of the Numinous” by Jungu Yoon

A fascinating insight into the ideas and use of spirituality in contemporary art. Not necessarily religious spirituality but the numinous.

Numinous def: surpassing comprehension or understanding; mysterious:

The book mentions many major artist including Francis Bacon, Damian Hurst, Antony Gormley and Olafur Eliasson amongst others and explores and explains the ideas behind particular pieces. The book also explores a number of artists, mostly film artists, who I hadn’t heard of before including the author himself.

I really feel that I understand some of the pieces referred to in the book better but it has also helped to make me feel more confident about understanding other works. Particularly pieces that people generally tend to struggle to understand like work by Rothko. His work at first seems to be about nothing, just colours on canvas, but on further exploration and understanding begin to become clearer within the context of emotion and sense of something bigger than oneself.

This has been a very important and interesting book for me, one I feel I will go back to again and again.

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