Why We Draw

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“Why does the human animal, alone of all creation, have the ability — and the primal need — to represent the world, as filtered through the senses and the intellect and the soul, in the form of drawings? Out of such a simple yet fundamental question, Peter Steinhart conjures a fascinating meditation that spans such fields as religion, psychology, Darwinism, feminism, sociology, neuroscience and philosophy. In The Undressed Art, Steinhart has created one of those sui generis works such as Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. While its scope might not be as large as Pirsig’s, Steinhart’s book still speaks to many of the same issues of community, mindfulness, personal liberation and the dynamic interplay between past and present.

A naturalist by trade, Steinhart brings a keen scientific manner to the main question of “why we draw.” He cites the latest theories from consciousness studies, such as those found in the work of Steven Pinker. He also delves into the famous left-brain, right-brain theory of artistic creativity, discussed in books such as Betty Edwards’s classic Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. He reviews anthropological and zoological evidence on the subject and examines the neurological development of children, elucidating the standard stages of artistic capability. Steinhart also looks at ways in which our culture respects or devalues the act of drawing.”

From The Washington Post’s Book World/washingtonpost.com

The Undressed Art : Why We Draw
by PETER STEINHART
Available @ Amazon.com

Print it in Moleskine MSK format
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