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Details of Abstraction and Empathy: A Contribution to the Psychology of Style

Abstraction and Empathy: A Contribution to the Psychology of Style
Exact title of book
Abstraction and Empathy: A Contribution to the Psychology of Style
Book author
Wilhelm Worringer
ISBN
9781566631778
Published
Oct 01, 1997
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
Pages
168
File size (in PDF)
1512 kB

Some brief overview of book

Wilhelm Worringers landmark study in the interpretation of modern art, first published in 1908, has seldom been out of print. Its profound impact not only on art historians and theorists but on generations of creative writers and intellectuals is almost unprecedented. Starting from the notion that beauty derives from our sense of being able to identify with an object, Worringer argues that representational art produces satisfaction from our objectified delight in the self, reflecting a confidence in the world as it is - as in Renaissance art.

By contrast, the urge to abstraction, as exemplified by Egyptian, Byzantine, primitive, or modern expressionist art, articulates a totally different response to the world it expresses mans insecurity. Thus in historical periods of anxiety and uncertainty, man seeks to abstract objects from their unpredictable state and transform them into absolute, transcendental forms. In his Introduction to Abstraction and Empathy, Hilton Kramer calls the book one of the key documents in the literature of modernism.

He considers the influence of Worringers thesis and places Abstraction and Empathy in historical context, showing how its ideas are very much alive today.

About book author

Worringer (18811965) was an art historian who lectured and taught at the universities of Bern, Knigsberg, and Halle. Hilton Kramer is editor of The New Criterion. ence in the world as it is - as in Renaissance art. By contrast, the urge to abstraction, as exemplified by Egyptian, Byzantine, primitive, or modern expressionist art, articulates a totally different response to the world it expresses mans insecurity.

Thus in historical periods of anxiety and uncertainty, man seeks to abstract objects from their unpredictable state and transform them into absolute, transcendental forms. In his Introduction to Abstraction and Empathy, Hilton Kramer calls the book one of the key documents in the literature of modernism. He considers the influence of Worringers thesis and places Abstraction and Empathy in historical context, showing how its ideas are very much alive today.

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