Monday, August 28, 2006

Hans Rookmaaker and Art

While I was at Jr. High RYM I picked up Art And the Christian Mind: The Life And Work of H. R. Rookmaaker Laurel Gasque. A thoroughly good read, it opened a new world of reflections on art by a scholar of not only art but the Bible...not to mention Jazz. The book is an excellent tribute to a man who is only rivalled by Schaeffer in his understanding of how artistic expression is a reflection of the artist's view of reality.

After reading the above biography on Rookmaaker I was hungry for anything else I could find. So I ordered, from Modern Art and the Death of a Culture. All I can say is I have never really read anything like it. If you like it when Schaeffer waxes eloguent on all things Art. This will give you the fix you have probably been longing for. Here is a taste worth the wait for...

"Christian art is nothing special. It is sound, healthy, good art. It is art that is line with the God-given structures of art, one which has a loving and free view on reality, one which is good and true. In a way there is no specifically Christian art. One can distinguish only good and bad art, art which is sound and good from art which is false and weird in its insight into reality. This is so whether it is painting or drama or music. Christians, however full of faith they may be, can still make bad art. They may be sinful and weak, or they might not have much talent. On the other hand a non-Christian can make a thing a beauty, a joy for ever - provided that he remains within the scope of the norms for art, provided that he works out of the fullness of his humanity, and does not glory in the depraved or in iniquity or glorify the devil.

So a work of art is not good when we know that the artist was a Christian: it is good when we perceive it to be good. Nor is a work bad if we know the artist was a hater of God." (p. 228)

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