Siedell likens Christians' encounter with modern and contemporary fine art to St. Paul's discovery of the "altar to an unknown god" on Mars Hill (Acts 17:23). Responding to those who have called for a separate Christian art (particularly Francis Schaeffer and H.R. Rookmaaker), he strives to reveal what modern art is "only able to point to, not to name." Siedell uses his in-depth knowledge as former art curator and current assistant professor of art history at the University of Nebraska at Omaha to argue that perceptions of this "legitimate cultural practice" can be "nourished by a robust Nicene Christianity." These disparate essays tackle subjects both ambitious (a history of modern art) and esoteric (a single work by artist Enrique Martínez Celaya; the conflict between art critics Harold Rosenberg and Clement Greenberg). Siedell's love of contemporary art is obvious, but his sometimes abstruse writing doesn't always clarify his formidable subject; indeed, it may reinforce some Christians' view of modern art as unapproachable. His primary audience is clearly art specialists, whether students or professionals; Siedell's interesting thesis may not reach the larger audience it deserves. (Oct.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
God in the Gallery (Cultural Exegesis): A Christian Embrace of Modern Artby Daniel A. Siedell
Is contemporary art a friend or foe of Christianity? Art historian, critic, and curator Daniel Siedell, addresses this question and presents a framework for interpreting art from a Christian worldview in God in the Gallery: A Christian Embrace of Modern Art. As such, it is an excellent companion to Francis Schaeffer's classic Art and the Bible. Divided into three parts--"Theology," "History," and "Practice"--God in the Gallery demonstrates that art is in conversation with and not opposed to the Christian faith. In addition, this book is beautifully enhanced with images from such artists as Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Enrique Martínez Celaya, and others. Readers of this book will include professors, students, artists, and anyone interested in Christianity and culture.
Meet the Author
Daniel A. Siedell (PhD, University of Iowa) is director of theological and cultural practices at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and chancellor at Knox Seminary. He previously served as professor of modern and contemporary art history at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and was curator of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has published numerous articles in Books & Culture, Christian Scholar's Review, Studies in Religious Perspectives, and various other journals.
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