SACRED ART OF THE 19TH AND 20TH CENTURIES: BLOOMING OR WILTING? (Sztuka sakralna XIX i XX w. Kryzys czy rozkwit?)
Most studies of the art of the nineteenth and, particularly, twentieth centuries treat issues related to sacred art only marginally. In 'the age of avant-gardes,' as the last century is sometimes called, artistic phenomena were generally assessed according to the paradigm of their novelty and originality, and works of religious art were usually mentioned only if they belonged to an artist's output corresponding to the above standards. Contemporary sacred art largely escapes these criteria, also used today, leaving a significant area of artistic creativity on the margins of art history. In connection with the modifications of criteria for assessing a work of art, postulated in the last decades of the twentieth century by philosophers and culture theorists associated with postmodernism and aimed at rethinking that approach to art, one may also perhaps propose changes that would allow including a wider range of artistic phenomena associated with religious than previously considered. The paper discusses the implications of the ideological dualism that has been present in the Western civilization for over two hundred years and of the accompanying crisis of sacred art. It outlines the synthetic image of the current state of research on contemporary sacred art and formulates research postulates.
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