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Spiritual Moderns: Twentieth-Century American Artists and Religion
by Erika Doss
University of Chicago Press, 2022
Cloth: 978-0-226-82091-0 | eISBN: 978-0-226-82347-8
Library of Congress Classification N6512.5.M63D67 2023
Dewey Decimal Classification 700.4112

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
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.
 
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