Zen in the Fifties
Interaction in Art between East and West
Distributed for Reaktion Books
Interest in Zen grew in the 1950s as new artistic, philosophical and psychological theories opened up the way for Western artists to explore both interior and exterior landscapes. Helen Westgeest brings into her analysis the work of John Cage, Ad Reinhardt and Mark Tobey in America, and Yves Klein and Pierre Alechinsky in France, and shows how the ideas, methods and works of these and certain other artists display affinities with those of the Zen masters. The influence of modern Western art on Japanese artists is also discussed, providing a little–noticed perspective on the West.
Zen in the Fifties looks at some of the most important centers of modern art in France, Germany, the United States and Japan and offers a fascinating insight into Zen, and the characteristics of Zen art.
Zen and the Zen arts
—What is Zen?
—The Zen arts: Sumi-e and Sho
—Aspects of Zen and the Zen arts
West looks East. A short history
—Kandinsky: a new perception of Japanese art
The unity between West and East. American artists and Zen
—Mark Tobey, John Cage and Ad Reinhardt
—Insight into Zen
The Zen arts in France
—Jean Degottex, Pierre Alechinsky and Yves Klein
—Zen in practice
Release through Zen and German art
—Rupprecht Geiger, Karl Otto Götz and Günther Uecker
—Zen as support
The inherent Zen in Japan
—Saburo Murakami, Atsuko Tanaka, Akira Kanayama and Kazuo Shiraga
—The self-evidence of Zen
List of illustrations