View Full Version : Art and new levels of experience

10-11-2018, 07:34 PM
Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. The mind that responds to the intellectual and spiritual values that lie hidden in a poem, a painting, or a piece of music, discovers a spiritual vitality that lifts it above itself, takes it out of itself, and makes it present to itself on a level of being that it did not know it could ever achieve.


Thinking about Merton’s quote I realized that a number of artists come to mind…visual artists as well as musicians, writers. But for now, I will post two visual artists whose work I find moving both intellectually, spiritually and emotionally.

First Walter de Maria’s The Lightening Field (LF).

de Maria was one of the early land artists working with the idea of taking art out of museums and galleries and onto/into the environment.
Finished in the late 70s The Lightening Field is composed of 400 20’ tall stainless steel poles that are arranged vertically over a one mile by one kilometer grid. The artwork is in a remote and sparely beautiful part of New Mexico and can be only visited in the summer (climate issues) and by reservation and the visit is a required 24 hours. There is a rustic cabin on site that sleeps a maximum of 6 at a time. The work is owned and funded by the Dia Foundation in NYC

I have been fortunate to have visited the work. The slender poles reflect the morning sun and evening sunset but seem to disappear in the harsh noon day light. Because of its scale this work of art cannot be viewed as a whole but experienced only through a participation in it’s placement on the land. Its impact is integral to the land it occupies as well as the sky, weather, light, time of day. The link below is the official website for reservations offering a bit of information and image, but if you do a search on the LF there are many images of the artwork. To visit the LF is an experience that opens all senses and allows one's perception to shift in surprising and subtle ways.

From an article in the NYTimes called The Impenetrable That Leads to the Sublime:

“THE German artist Wolfgang Laib is very sure that art is a mystical experience, and that it has the capacity to change mankind.”

Wolfgang Laib is the second artist that I find deeply inspiring.

Laib works with natural materials using bee’s wax, pollen, rice, stone, milk in his extraordinarily elegant and spare installations.
The pollen field ‘paintings’ are astounding. He spends his summers gathering pollen from the meadows and forests near his small village in Germany. Pollen is alive and in the quantity he must use to make his art you feel its intrinsic life... He carefully lays down the pollen directly on the floor. It becomes a solid glowing golden square. I’ve been fortunate to have seen 2 of his installations while his work was on tour in the US some years ago. The rooms holding the pollen are as fragrant as a walk through a meadow in springtime. Otherworldly, to have that experience in a gallery/museum space.

And please share with us those artists whose work moves / inspires you.




10-15-2018, 08:34 PM
Hello again,

Here's a link to an amazing artist story. This 105 year old Aboriginal woman, Loonkoonan, became an artist in her mid 90s. Creative spirit can arrive unannounced at any point in our life!
Be prepared!