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Spiritual Moderns

Twentieth-Century American Artists and Religion

Examines how and why religion matters in the history of modern American art.
 
Andy Warhol is one of the best-known American artists of the twentieth century. He was also an observant Catholic who carried a rosary, went to mass regularly, kept a Bible by his bedside, and depicted religious subjects throughout his career. Warhol was a spiritual modern: a modern artist who appropriated religious images, beliefs, and practices to create a distinctive style of American art.
 
Spiritual Moderns centers on four American artists who were both modern and religious. Joseph Cornell, who showed with the Surrealists, was a member of the Church of Christ, Scientist. Mark Tobey created pioneering works of Abstract Expressionism and was a follower of the Bahá’í Faith. Agnes Pelton was a Symbolist painter who embraced metaphysical movements including New Thought, Theosophy, and Agni Yoga. And Warhol, a leading figure in Pop art, was a lifelong Catholic. Working with biographical materials, social history, affect theory, and the tools of art history, Doss traces the linked subjects of art and religion and proposes a revised interpretation of American modernism.
 

352 pages | 122 halftones | 7 x 10 | © 2022

Art: American Art

Religion: Comparative Studies and History of Religion

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Chapter 1. Spiritual Moderns: Twentieth-Century American Artists and Religion
Chapter 2. Joseph Cornell and Christian Science: “White Magic” Modernism and the Metaphysics of Ephemera
Chapter 3. Mark Tobey and Bahá’í: “White Writing” and Spiritual Calligraphy
Chapter 4. Agnes Pelton and Occulture: Spiritual Seeking and Visionary Modernism
Chapter 5. Andy Warhol and Catholicism: Pop Art’s “Spiritual Side”
Chapter 6. Spiritual Moderns: Culture War Controversies and Enduring Themes
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

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