New book | The Enigma of Art: On the Provenance of Artistic Creation

In this book, Gino Zaccaria offers a philosophical meditation on the issue of art in light of its originary sense.

He shows how this sense can be fully understood provided that our thinking, on the one hand, returns to the ancient Greek world where it must heed the voice and hints of the goddess Athena, and, on the other hand, listens to “artist-thinkers” close to our current epoch, such as Cézanne, van Gogh and Boccioni.

Indeed, the path of this meditation has as its guide the well-known sentence by the painter from Aix-en-Provence, which reads: “Je vous dois la vérité en peinture, et je vous la dirai !”.

What will finally appear in this way will not be an abstract or historical notion of art, but its enigma; that is to say, the promise of “another initiation” of art itself.

The volume consists of three parts. The first contains three chapters devoted to Umberto Boccioni and his “idea of Futurism”, Paul Cézanne and his experience of sunlight, and Vincent van Gogh and his pictorial inhabiting within the Mistral wind. The second and most extensive part (divided into three partitions) is dedicated to the Greek-Athenaic sense of art and the implications and consequences that such a sense entails regarding the issue and question of artistry as a crucial but enigmatic gift of human dwelling. The third and shortest part unravels in the form of an epilogue and presents a concise analysis of the relationship between art and nature, starting with the Aristotelian dictum ἡ τέχνη μιμεῖται τὴν φύσιν.

The Enigma of Art (Brill, 2021)