In his Charles Eliot Norton Lectures, the Russian-born American painter Ben Shahn sets down his personal views of the relationship of the. The Shape of Content has ratings and 25 reviews. the Russian-born American painter Ben Shahn sets down his personal views of the relationship of the. Get this from a library! The shape of content. [Ben Shahn] — “Mr. Shahn sets forth his views on both the practice and the purposes of art with a clarity, cogency.

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The Shape of Content

Space, Time and Architecture Sigfried Giedion. They are those matters which call fourth our most enthusiastic participation, or towards which we are most compassionate about.

They are fortuitous values; they may be within the work or they may be within the viewer. Product details Format Paperback pages Dimensions x x Dec 28, Zach Erdmann rated it it contebt amazing. The Shape of Content Ben Shahn. Under such necessity art can be pushed to meaningless extremes.

The two, of course, are inseparable, but, he contends, the whole view has been obscured by overly critical dissecting. Form is, further, the abolishing of excessive content, of content that falls outside the true limits of the theme. Book ratings by Goodreads. At this point I cannot resist a few somewhat crisper lines in this direction from Francis Bacon: I read some of it years ago but never finished it until today.


Lucid account of a variety questions in the practice of painting thee developing yourself and ideas. To me, this felt like a book of affirmations.

The shape of content. ( edition) | Open Library

Sep 22, kimberly rated it it was amazing. Hossam AL-Mahdy rated it really liked it Jan 06, Shahn “sets forth his views on both the practice and the purposes of art with a clarity, cogency, and incisiveness that any professional writer might envy, and he manages to interweave with this a good deal of interesting material about his own development as an artist, as well as a running summary of his opinions on contemporary painting in general Only the individual can imagine, invent, or create.

It’s short and elegant and Shahn makes an irrefutable case that all artists have an unavoidable responsibility to society, and gets in enough fundamentals to give those uninitiated in arts a solid vocabulary to start from. May 24, Russell rated it it was amazing. Other books in this series.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Beliefs that light the way we behave.

By using our website you agree to our use of cookies. He talks of the creation of the work of art, the importance of the community, the problem of communication, and the critical theories governing the artist and his audience.

Jul 05, Ruzz rated it really liked it.


Sometimes it got a bit dull, other times it was very passionate and star- or underline-worthy. I ought to read more books about art. Found this on my bookshelf and am interested to take another look. There are some excellent thoughts syape here, but even in the plainer moments the essays evoke that milky-nostalgia of the creative process.

It was educational, of course, and I was exposed to a few ideas that I had never considered before. No one can deny supreme skills at work are at play even in Pollock and Albers.

I haven’t read too much on art, but this book makes me want to read sbahn. Most important takeaway for me was encapsulated here: Picasso is an artist, and Dali shhan not. Mar 06, Sharon Bautista rated it really liked it. Despite all the movements in art toward the plane of the abstract, Shahn argues for the ideas embodied in art as retaining a supreme value.


I thank them both, for letting me house this little volume in my house for the past, what, FOUR decades. Virginia Quarterly Review A remarkably interesting book, which puts the reader in rewarding contact with a questing mind and a humane spirit.

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