Recently I have been reading a collection of art history books which I have found very riveting. The first called Bauhaus by Frank Whitford; which is about the way our environment looks, the appearance of everything from housing estates to newspapers which is partly the result of a school of art and design founded in Germany in 1919 and closed down by the Nazis in 1933. This was the Bauhaus, which has also left an indelible mark on art eduction throughout the world, setting everything firmly against a backdrop of the times. Frank Whitford traces the ideas behind its conception and describes its teaching methods. He examines the actives of the teachers, artists eminent as Klee and Kandinksy and the daily lives of the students. Everything is decided with the aid, wherever possible, of the words of theses who were there at the time.
The second book is by favourite which I have read a lot called 'Ways of Seeing' by John Berger, he identifies 'seeing comes before words. the child looks and recognises before it can speak' however there is also another sense in which seeing comes before words. It is seeing which establishes our place in the surroundings world; we explain that world with words, but words can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it. The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled . John Berger's book changes the way people think about painting,opening up the mind to the varying meanings and the personable respond to art . Showing how what we see is always influenced by a whole host of assumptions, concerning nature, beauty, truth, civilisation, form, taste,class and gender. Exploring the layers of meaning within oil paintings, photographs and graphic art.
revised for those who are picky about my spelling you know who you are (i cont spel)