FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 10 David Douglas Duncan (Feature on artist Georges Rouault )

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프란시스 쉐퍼 – 그러면 우리는 어떻게 살 것인가 introduction (Episode 1)

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

#02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer

The clip above is from episode 9 THE AGE OF PERSONAL PEACE AND AFFLUENCE

10 Worldview and Truth

In above clip Schaeffer quotes Paul’s speech in Greece from Romans 1 (from Episode FINAL CHOICES)

Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100

A Christian Manifesto Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000 years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age” episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” ,  episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” . My favorite episodes are number 7 and 8 since they deal with modern art and culture primarily.(Joe Carter rightly noted, “Schaefferwho always claimed to be an evangelist and not a philosopher—was often criticized for the way his work oversimplified intellectual history and philosophy.” To those critics I say take a chill pill because Schaeffer was introducing millions into the fields of art and culture!!!! !!! More people need to read his works and blog about them because they show how people’s worldviews affect their lives!

J.I.PACKER WROTE OF SCHAEFFER, “His communicative style was not thaof a cautious academiwho labors foexhaustive coverage and dispassionate objectivity. It was rather that of an impassioned thinker who paints his vision of eternal truth in bold strokes and stark contrasts.Yet it is a fact that MANY YOUNG THINKERS AND ARTISTS…HAVE FOUND SCHAEFFER’S ANALYSES A LIFELINE TO SANITY WITHOUT WHICH THEY COULD NOT HAVE GONE ON LIVING.”

Francis Schaeffer’s works  are the basis for a large portion of my blog posts and they have stood the test of time. In fact, many people would say that many of the things he wrote in the 1960’s  were right on  in the sense he saw where our western society was heading and he knew that abortion, infanticide and youth enthansia were  moral boundaries we would be crossing  in the coming decades because of humanism and these are the discussions we are having now!)

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true as Schaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACEThere is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This link shows how to do that.

Francis Schaeffer in Art and the Bible noted, “Many modern artists, it seems to me, have forgotten the value that art has in itself. Much modern art is far too intellectual to be great art. Many modern artists seem not to see the distinction between man and non-man, and it is a part of the lostness of modern man that they no longer see value in the work of art as a work of art.” 

Many modern artists are left in this point of desperation that Schaeffer points out and it reminds me of the despair that Solomon speaks of in Ecclesiastes.  Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.” THIS IS EXACT POINT SCHAEFFER SAYS SECULAR ARTISTS ARE PAINTING FROM TODAY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED ARE A RESULT OF MINDLESS CHANCE.

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Francis Schaeffer pictured below

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Here are some comments from Francis Schaeffer (includes two quotes from David Douglas Duncan) from the episode “The Age of Fragmentation” which is part of the film series HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?

Cezanne reduced nature to what he considered its basic geometric forms. In this he was searching for an universal which would tie all kinds of individual things in nature together, but this gave a broken fragmented appearance to his pictures.
File:Paul Cézanne 047.jpg
Les Grandes Baigneuses, 1898–1905: the triumph of Poussinesque stability and geometric balance.
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In his bathers there is much freshness, much vitality. An absolute wonder in the balance of the picture as a whole, but he portrayed not only nature but also man himself in fragmented form. 
I want to stress that I am not minimizing these men as men. To read van Gogh’s letters is to weep for the pain of this sensitive man. Nor do I minimize their talent as painters. Their work often has great beauty indeed. But their art did become the vehicle of modern man’s view of fractured truth and light. As philosophy had moved from unity to fragmentation so did painting. In 1912 Kaczynski wrote an article saying that in so far as the old harmony, that is an unity of knowledge have been lost, that only two possibilities remained: extreme abstraction or extreme naturalism, both he said were equal.
File:Les Demoiselles d'Avignon.jpg
With this painting modern art was born. Picasso painted it in 1907 and called it Les Demoiselles d’AvignonIt unites Cezzanne’s fragmentation with Gauguin’s concept of the noble savage using the form of the African mask which was popular with Parisian art circle of that time. In great art technique is united with worldview and the technique of fragmentation works well with the worldview of modern man. A view of a fragmented world and a fragmented man and a complete break with the art of the Renaissance which was founded on man’s humanist hopes.
Here man is made to be less than man. Humanity is lost. Speaking of a part of Picasso’s private collection of his own works David Douglas Duncan says “Of course, not one of these pictures  was actually a portrait, but his prophecy of a ruined world.”
But Picasso himself could not  live  with this loss of the human. When he was in love with Olga and later Jacqueline he did not consistently paint them in a fragmented way. At crucial 
points  of their relationship he painted them as they really were with all his genius, with all their humanity. When he was painting his own young children he did not use fragmented techniques and presentation. Picasso had many mistresses, but these were the two women he married. It is interesting that Jacqueline kept one of these paintings in her private sitting room. Duncan says  of this lovely picture, “Hanging precariously on an old nail driven high on one of La Californie’s (Picasso and Jacqueline’s home) second floor sitting room walls, a portrait of Jacqueline Picasso reigns supreme. The room is her  domain…Painted in oil with charcoal, the picture has been at her side since shortly after she and the maestro met…She loves it and wants in nearby.” 
I want you to understand that I am not saying that gentleness and humanness is not present in modern art, but as the techniques of modern art advanced, humanity was increasingly 
fragmented–as we shall see, for example, with Marcel Duchamp….The opposite of fragmentation would be unity, and the old philosophic thinkers thought they could bring forth this unity from  the humanist base and then they gave this up.
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Picasso and Olga Khokhlova

Their son Paulo (Paul) was born in 1921 (and died in 1975), influencing Picasso’s imagery to turn to mother and child themes.  Paul’s three children are Pablito (1949-1973), Marina (born in 1951), and Bernard (1959).  Some of the Picassos in this Saper Galleries exhibition are from Marina and Bernard’s  personal Picasso collection.

Pablo Picasso. Portrait of Paul Picasso as a Child.

Portrait of Paul Picasso as a Child. 1923. Oil on canvas.
Collection of Paul Picasso, Paris, France.

In 1917 ballerina Olga Khokhlova (1891-1955) met Picasso while the artist was designing the ballet “Parade” in Rome, to be performed by the Ballet Russe.  They married in the Russian Orthodox church in Paris in 1918 and lived a life of conflict.  She was of high society and enjoyed formal events while Picasso was more bohemian in his interests and pursuits.  Their son Paulo (Paul) was born in 1921 (and died in 1975), influencing Picasso’s imagery to turn to mother and child themes.  Paul’s three children are Pablito (1949-1973), Marina (born in 1951), and Bernard (1959).  Some of the Picassos in this Saper Galleries exhibition are from Marina and Bernard’s  personal Picasso collection.

https://i2.wp.com/www.sapergalleries.com/PicassoOlga.jpg

https://i2.wp.com/www.sapergalleries.com/PicassoOlgaPhoto.jpg

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Feature on the artist Georges Rouault today!!!!

Today I am featuring the artist Georges Rouault who always a great example of an artist who presented unity and not fragmentation in his work.

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Georges Rouault

Published on Mar 14, 2012

Georges Henri Rouault (París, 27 de mayo de 1871 — 13 de febrero de 1958) fue un pintor francés fauvista y expresionista. Trabajó además la litografía y el aguafuerte.

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Modern Art Portraits Georges Rouault

Simone
Recently we explored some of the paintings of Georges Rouault, a French Expressionist painter.
As a young man, he had apprenticed at a stained glass studio, restoring Medieval glass. The bright colors of the glass and the religious subjects of the art influenced his style of painting.
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Christ of the Incas<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
He enjoyed painting people and his subjects included not only religious subjects, but clowns, acrobats, Pierrots, ballerinas, peasants and workers.

Georges Rouault, Dors Mon Amour, Plate XVII, from Cirque de L'Etoile Filante
Dors Mon Amor (Sleep My Love)1935

He focused on the expressions and feeling and emotions of his subjects and used strong colors and heavy lines when portraying them.


Amazone 1930

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Book Cover: Ruoault and Fujimura

Rouault, Fujimura: Soliloquies

  • Thomas S. Hibbs
  • Jan 14, 2013
  • Series: Volume 16 – 2013

Thomas S. Hibbs, Rouault, Fujimura: Soliloquies. New York: Square Halo Books, 2009. ISBN-10: 0978509722; ISBN-13: 978-0978509729. 62 pages. Paperback. Reviewed by Douglas Groothuis.

Evangelicals have often been leery, if not hostile, to modern painting (and modern art in general)—especially if it fails to depict religious or realistically portrayed themes (such as those found in Norman Rockwell). Too often, Christians have settled for sentimental and downright kitschy paintings, such as those of the late Thomas Kinkade, “Painter of Light” as he was trademarked. Or, Christians may invoke modern painters as examples of cultural disarray, fragmentation, hedonism, or even nihilism. In many cases, these are apt judgments, as the work of Francis Schaeffer and Hans Rookmaaker have highlighted. However, neither man uniformly disapproved of modern art. (See particularly Rookmaaker, Art and the Death of a Culture[InterVarsity, 1970] and Art Needs No Justification[InterVarsity, 1977]; and Schaeffer, How Shall We Then Live? [Fleming, Revel, 1976]. Also worthwhile is the film series of the same name, now available on DVD.)

Both Schaeffer and Rookmaaker encouraged Christians to consider painting and other forms of artistic expression as a calling from God, the divine Artist. As musician and author Michael Card notes in his introduction to a reprinting of Schaeffer’s little gem, Art and the Bible (InterVarsity, 2006), many young Christians in the 1970s were inspired to pursue their artistic muse through Schaeffer’s lectures and writings. Schaeffer took a deeply humane and Christocentric view of art. He discerned that art revealed the inner lives and eternal culture of human beings, who were made in the image of God, despite their sin. As he wrote in A Christian Manifesto (Crossway, 1981), “Men are great, even in their sinning.” (Please ruminate on this concept for a long while.) This perspective caused him to ponder and reflect on the meaning of art in various cultures at various times. Schaeffer’s theology of culture was strongly Christocentric. All that is rooted in God’s good creation must be placed under “the Lordship of Christ,” including areas typically considered secular, such as art and politics, for humans are intrinsically culture-creators (see Genesis 1:26-28; Psalm 8).

A story makes this approach to art come to life. In the early 1970s, a young black man named Sylvester Jacobs came to study at L’Abri, a study center founded and run by Francis and Edith Schaeffer, which is still in existence. Jacobs was passionate about Christ, but was told by his Fundamentalist peers that his enchantment with photography was worldly and of the devil. He must, rather, spend all his time preaching and evangelizing. This left Jacobs hollow and confused—until he went to L’Abri in Switzerland. While there, the teachings of Schaeffer and then colleague Os Guinness convinced Jacobs that photography can be done for the glory of God. This realization changed Jacobs’s life for the better, and he became a professional photographer, and without putting aside his Christian convictions. For proof of Jacobs talents, see his book, Portrait of a Shelter, among others. For his story, read the autobiography, Born Black (Hodder, 1977).

But now to the book in question: Soliloquies, which is taken from an exhibition of the art of French painter, George Rouault (1871-1958), and the contemporary Japanese-American painter Makoto Fujimura. The paintings of each artist alternate throughout the book with text by philosopher Thomas Hibbs. The title was chosen not because the artists were caught up in excessive self-reference or egotism, but because their art-making required deep introspection, and internal dialogue on how to engage the external world through their paintings (7-13).

Rouault was a loyal Roman Catholic and Fujimura is a contemporary evangelical, who has worked with pastor and best-selling author Tim Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. Fujimura offers a short “refraction” at the end of the booklet called, “George Rouault: The First Twentieth Century Artist,” wherein he considers Rouault’s uniqueness and his influence on Fujimura’s own work.

On the face it, this is an odd pairing of painters. Rouault was known as a figural painter, who mixed abstraction with depictions of human subjects (although he also painted landscapes, flowers, and so on). His work has the quality of a stained glass window and he often portrayed human beings in their deepest sorrows and absurdities. For example, he painted nude prostitutes (without eroticism), unhappy clowns, and pompous judges without wisdom; he painted old kings, weighed down with a lifetime of sorrow; he painted many scenes of the crucifixion and of human sorrow in its variegated forms. And yet, unlike so many twentieth century painters (such as Picasso at times), he never lost touch with the humanness and dignity of his subjects. If you pitied them, wept for them, or saw part of yourself in them (as I do), you knew that the humanity, however, debauched or sullied, was present and even radiant in its ineluctable radiance. This is because Rouault loved his subjects, and even saw Christ in them, “the least of these” (see Matthew 25:31-46). His pity led him to paint, not scoff, shrug, or ignore.

Fujimura, on the other hand, is not a figural painter, although he has painted some recognizable objects in his illustrated edition of the Gospels.  In fact, it is rather difficult to categorize him. Before we try, I should note it is rare that a self-consciously Christian painter achieves acceptance and even notoriety in the highly competitive secular art scene of New York City. Fujimura has done just that. While some—not hordes—of Christians appreciate his sometimes elusive work, he is not dependent on the acceptance or exclusive patronage of religious people for his living. This is an exemplary instance of following one’s calling into a daunting field of work without compromising one’s Christian conviction. Unlike so many other Christian artists (or pseudo-artists), Fujimura is not confined to an evangelical subculture or ghetto. He has earned the respect of his peers. But how so?

Fujimura combines the sensibilities of twentieth century abstraction with traditional Japanese artists’ techniques, which involve the use a variety of metal substancees besides paint. One is strained to identify actual objects in his paintings, yet they fascinate with their incandescent mystery. But the question then arises, “What do these paintings mean?” The titles sometimes help, but one still wonders. Surely, a painting need not strictly mirror something in the external world. Paintings are objects in and of themselves, and they are not photographs (even photographs are not merely representations). Painter Georgia O’Keeffe went so far as to say that “There is nothing less real than realism.” Every painting involves the subjectivity of the artist. If not, why paint at all? Yet when the subject matter seems to fade away or blur into pure nonrepresentationalism, one wonders how to know what the painting is supposed to communicate. It may evoke a feeling, as Fujimura’s paintings often do, but how can that feeling be explained or articulated? Or are we merely guessing (at best)? This could be called the question of “aesthetic epistemology,” as Denver Seminary graduate Sarah Geis puts it. But few even consider this philosophical question, it seems, and thus effortlessly fall into emotivism, which snuffs out all discourse.

I have not settled these vexing queries. While I am drawn to Rouault like lead to a magnet because of his content (his representation of suffering in particular), I do not know in specific concepts why I am drawn to Fujimura. I appreciate (and even marvel at) the difficulty and inventiveness of his technique and the uniqueness of his synthesis of traditional Japanese painting and Western abstractionism. He is unique, easily recognizable (if you have studied his work) and well-established in the art world. Moreover, unlike so many twentieth century artists, his reason for being is not mere self-expression, or, at its worste, solipsism. As he writes in the book:

The main cause of this [aesthetic corruption in the twentieth century], or the pollution in the aesthetic river of culture is self-aggrandizement and a type of embezzlement made in the name of advancing the creative arts. . . . We pollute the landscape with irresponsible expressions in the name of progress and call them freedom of speech (12).

Or, as E.H. Gombrich observes in his classic Story of Art, “self-expression became the motive for art only after it has lost all other purposes.” If so, the meaningless self becomes a strident surd in an absurd world. The self can only bear so much of itself before it implodes, sucking others into its consumptive and voracious abyss. “Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,” as the poet Yeats said in “The Second Coming.”

But neither Rouault nor Fujimura are anarchists or self-aggrandizing. They have, rather, presented their aesthetics gifts, however different, to the world for our enjoyment and contemplation. This should stir our interests and provoke attention and appreciation. Let evangelicals reclaim art, in all its legitimate forms, under the Lordship of Christ.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy
Denver Seminary
January 2013

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October 17, 2009 by Makoto Fujimura | All Writings | 1 Comment
At Rouault Studio, Courtesy of Rouault Foundation, Paris
Georges Rouault, Reine de Cirque, 18.8″x12.4″x1″
Georges Rouault, Miserere Series
Georges Rouault, Christ on the Outskirts, Bridgestone Museum, Tokyo
Georges Rouault painting close up at Pompidou
At Pompidou looking at Rouault paintings, photo by Jean-Marie Porté
Makoto Fujimura Soliloquies — Joy, 64×80″, Minerals, Gold on Linen

130 William A. Dyrness, “Rouault: A Vision of Suffering and Salvation.” Pg. 108, Eerdmans Publishing, 1971

131 Georges Rouault, Correspondance [de] Georges Rouault [et] André Suarès (Paris: Gallimard, 1960), 49; quoted in Semblance and Reality in Georges Rouault, 1871-1958, ed. Stephen Schloesser (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2008), 27.

132 At the Aspen Institute, 2009

133 Georges Rouault, Souvenirs intimes (Paris: E. Frapier, 1927), 51; quoted in Bernard Doering, “Lacrymae rerum: Creative Intuition of the Transapparent Reality,” in Semblance and Reality in Georges Rouault, 1871-1958, ed. Stephen Schloesser (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2008), 390.

134 See “Art as Prayer,” International Arts Movement

135 I like to thank Dr. Paul Vitz for coining this term, at IAM lecture in 1998

136 pg. 25 Takashi Murakami, Superflat, Madra Publishing, 2000

137 Thanks to philopsopher Adrienne Chaplin for pointing out this book to me

138 Jacques Maritain, Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry, Meridian Books, pg. 131

139 See “River Grace,” International Arts Movement publication

140 See my Refractions essay on van Gogh

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