A Letter to a Young Painter Author:Sir Herbert Read The main feature of this new volume of essays by Sir Herbert Read is a long letter to a young painter in which the critic seeks on a direct and personal level to illuminate the problems of form and expression that confront the artist in an age of doubt and confusion. Affirming the sensuous basis of art, the critic asks the painter to reach towa... more »rds those archetypal images which alone give to art its completeness and integrity. Sir Herbert has often been accused of neglecting the practical in favour of the theoretical aspects of modern painting and sculpture, but in this letter he shows that these two aspects cannot be separated, that the artist is the bridge between two orders of reality-the sensuous and the symbolic-that the artist becomes an artist by virtue of his ability to rise above his sensations.
In the second part of the volume Sir Herbert has assembled some related essays which describe some of the dilemmas and ambiguities that are forced upon the artist and the critic "at the turn of a civilization". In illustration of his own position he gathers together some short appreciations of the twenty-two contemporary artists, and reproduces a representative work of each.« less