The Continuing Tyranny of Modernism

by Mark Anthony Signorelli (September 2013)

The Tyranny of Artistic Modernism.” In this essay, we attempted to argue that art-making in the Western world still labors under the pernicious influence of the modernist revolution, and that little progress in the arts can be expected until we are prepared to free ourselves from that influence. We attempted to delineate the general tendencies of that influence, and to explain why the principles it inculcated were irreconcilable to more traditional ways of thinking about art. This essay generated a considerable amount of response in various corners of the internet, some passionately approving, some violently critical – much as Nikos and I expected. I had hoped at some point to write a follow-up to this piece, addressing some of the fair objections raised by commenters, but for the last year, I have simply found myself without the time to do so.

the disturbance which we called the loss of center or loss of the mean is seen to have its origin in the forcible separation of the human and the divine in man, in the tearing apart of one from the other, and in the loss of the mediator between man and God, the God-man. The lost center of man is simply God, and the innermost core of his disease is the loss of his relationship with him.[xi]

[i] Sedlmayr, Hans Art in Crisis (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2007), 138.

[ii] Sedlmayr, 151-152.

[vii] Gay, 458.

[x] Sedlmayr, 153.

[xi] Sedlmayr, 174-175.

[xv] Barzun, 801.


Distant Lands and Near, is now available. His personal website can found at: markanthonysignorelli.com

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