BEST 2019 BOOK: The Visual Dialogue from 1967 (2020 Countdown 3 of 31)

Hello Readers, 

Today makes Day 3 of 31 for my countdown to 2020.

I am sharing a top book from this year.  An oldie but goodie: The Visual Dialogue by Nathan Knobler from 1967.

It is difficult to pick a favorite, or best, book from any year! But this “best book” idea was part of the #DecemberReflections2019 challenge list that Ally Bean shared (here). And Nathan Knobler’s 1967 book has been fun to read little sections at a time.

His succinct writing has given me a tasty read this year as he brilliantly covers subjects many of us love so much: art, psychology, sociology, culture, and history. 

Three things I enjoyed here: 1) The essence of Knobler’s writing is NOT snobby (some art scholars can be so dry or stuck up – but he is not – and how do you like that name – “Knobler” – such a stately feel). 2) Knobler’s astute life outlook and seasoning allows him to weave social movements and extra details into his reflection without ever be long-winded – whew – a gift. 3) There is something fresh about long paragraphs – today’s modern art appreciation or art history books tend to have shorter sections – lots of headings and bolded parts – busy stuff that does connect with our culture’s changing needs and attention spans (and maybe helps more learning styles) but the text, the simple layout, and basic photos where something I enjoyed diving back into in small chance. This book was published in 1967 and so the color plates added were a bigger deal back then  – ha – and there are hard covers of this book on sale on amazon for under five bucks – wink. 

I know everyone has their own way of sharing about books – and lately I have enjoyed the “Three Takeaways” approach to sharing about a book. 

So here are THREE TAKEAWAYS I have enjoyed from The Visual Dialogue: 

ONE: COMMUNICATION IN ART: SUBJECT MATTER

“What can the artist communicate? This question is related to another: what does the artist wish to communicate? To judge by the evidence of the work of artists throughout history, the subject matter of the arts may be broken down into three categories: the world of perceptual reality, the personal response to experience, and finally the communication of order. These three areas are not mutually exclusive. Many works of art combine all of them, but there are art forms which appear to emphasize one to the exclusion of others, and it is important for the spectator to attempt to identify this initial intention of the artist when confronted by a painting, a piece of sculpture, or even a building.”  

Nathan Knobler, The Visual Dialogue, 1967, p.50

 

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TWO: EXPRESSION OF THE INNER WORLD THROUGH ART

“With the introduction of the idea of the unconscious mind into the realm of human experience, artists found a new source of subject matter. The source was themselves. The attempted to examine and represent those areas of experience and personality which were kept behind the gates of their conscious lives. These artists have been grouped, generally, into the category of surrealism. Their first attempts to touch their inner experience followed the oaths of then current psychological techniques. Paint or ink was blotted without an attempt to determine the final appearance of the forms. Bits of torn paper were allowed to drop onto a surface, producing chance combinations or groups. The artists hoped that these blots and bits of torn paper would suggest images that were locked in the recesses of their minds.”

As surrealism was developed, it changed it methods. The work of Paul Klee – and others like Kandinsky – created a style of art that filled the gap between representational and non-representational. Klee’s work in the early 1900’s gave us art that was rooted in emotions and moods, and had nothing to do with unconscious motives.

“It was Klee who said in 1919 that art did not exist to reproduce the visible but to render visible what lay beyond the visual world.”

Nathan Knobler, The Visual Dialogue, 1967, pp.239-240

 

THREE: RECIEVING ART

“There are, then, many effects of art on those who do not produce the works: the satisfaction of the senses of the individual, the stimulation of the imagination. The isolation of his consciousness in a world of clarity or in one of reverie. All these offer the observer an opportunity for experience he might otherwise not have, experience which adds to the riches of life in a way that cannot be duplicated by other means.”

Nathan Knobler, The Visual Dialogue, 1967, p.312

 

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See you again soon with the next post for the 2020 Countdown. I have a few more books I want to share this month (using the three takeaway format) and will also be running a free give away promotion for my book, Avian Friends (here). 

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2020 COUNTDOWN POSTS

  • Day 1: Beach Photos here 
  • Day 2: Water, A View from Japan-PART2 here

 

 

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34 thoughts on “BEST 2019 BOOK: The Visual Dialogue from 1967 (2020 Countdown 3 of 31)

    1. Hi Renee – sorry the link did not work for you – I fixed it after you said the last one did not work – going to check again
      and let me quote you on this:

      Art is magnificent no matter what form it is expressed

      hear hear 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi C – I forgot to share my personal there takeaways and went and added it into the post with the three sections.
      and by the way – you REALLY do book reviews well – have said it before – but you make it look easy (is it?)

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      1. Thank you Yvette.
        I normally write the review, let it sit for a couple of days, and then read through it to add things. It is not always easy to put my thoughts down but my hope is that it helps people choose a book that is right for them from all the ones that are out there.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi CP – actually for me it is a matter of narrowing down choices – I have folders and a some draft posts to either use up or trash – and then have new photos I am eager to share (and I have stopped doing photo challenges just to get caught up – so no – running out of ideas likely would never happen for me – but knock on wood — ha)
      and side note – in the review of your book I forgot to tell you how much I like what you did with “Paradise Lost”and the clever way you piggy backed on Guns and Roses’ “Paradise City” – that poem is special for flow – and the word choices have some nice layers – just wanted to share that Sir Spaniard

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      1. Yvette, I actually had to read in detail my own book… so that is normal.
        Narrowing choices you said, you did the challenge of publishing my book.
        Also I do not on wood with you, the wood is in my brain (it´s a spanish saying) and I do know one thing about you…. you definitely do not run out of ideas-subjects-whatever it is to do, you are always doing and learning something that is for sure. And me the dummy I´m privilege to pass through your blog and read and learn and see.

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      2. well I am honored that say you learn here – and remember – NO self-deprecating words – like “dummy” – ok? not even joking because words have power and even the smallest of getting can set a new tone. so let’s use words that give life and edify – especially when referring to self.
        __
        and we use the saying to “knock on wood” here too – and I use it a lot and sometimes will jokingly knock on someone’s head. so we have that in common.

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      3. I was reading the first part about know on wood… here in spain the old saying is ” Tienes mas serrin en la cabeza”, so yes, basically wood in the head, another thing is why? I think you feel sorry for this nutcase here. Hope not, but it was very cool to get those books in paper, I accomplished something and is not easy that one, for me that is.
        Love ya, unfortunately now my brain sees reality and I can´t be the dummy, comes here and goes, rare… not for me but it does piss people off. What happened now Yvette, as a Young man… hell woman! Now… I was going to say a curse Word but against me that is , weak? All in the head.
        So that was a long comment, actually I know that I know what,
        Looove ya!
        Happy camper with all the shit on me, still happy that is. And would you please take more photos of the things artistic or just about the U.S, that is my way to travel back in time.
        Damn….. When I say that Word I actually say it outloud, sounds nice for me.
        Dummy?….Forgot about that one, yes yes, but not all that much, and the military bullshit is actually real so go figure that one out. And the mother…..fuck that is back again with reality so that is why I think I wrote the last post, weird thing now, now, that she being dying is actually motivating me. It sounds bad, but is true. As a more yougnster….. Even me I´m getting bored.
        A big hug Mrs. Yvette. Thank you.

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  1. I find it interesting to see what type of art different people enjoy. Art is truly in the eye of the beholder, but I think we can certainly learn to appreciate more about types of art we don’t care for by learning more about what’s behind that style, although that may not make us like that style anyway.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet – that was a really good point – and I agree – you really touched upon a few things in that rich comment – the way it is okay to not care for styles – but to appreciate different ones without liking – and then how you find it ” interesting to see what type of art different people enjoy” – such a lover of people 🙂

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  2. I can see how you would have enjoyed this book given how you do many blog posts by combing your photography and music and words … I meant to share this book the other day. I was speaking with another walker on Friday morning. He asked about my Thanksgiving and said he had not only enjoyed the holiday meal but was enjoying a book about food from the beginning of time and gave me the name. I just looked it up and you may enjoy it Yvette. I will give you the name, rather than the link, so Amazon won’t keep trying to encourage you to buy it – it was available on Amazon though: “A Movable Feast: Ten Millennia of Food Globalization” – by Kenneth F. Kiple.

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    1. Hi 0 Kinda – that books sounds really good – I will let you know if I get to check it out – and my hubs is a health coach so we have a nice little library budding with books about food and health…

      and thought of you today and actually grabbed a squirrel photo to show ya – ((will share it later))
      and in this post I should have added more of why I liked Nathan Knobler’s art book.
      might go back and add it in – but here are three things:
      1) The essence of his wiring is not snobby (some art scholars can be so dry or snobby)
      2) He weaves social movements and extra details without ever be long-winded – whew – a gift
      3) There is something fresh about long paragraphs – today’s books tend to be shorter or have more headings and bolded parts – busy stuff-
      but the simple layout and basic photos (it was 67 so the color plates added were a bigger deal – ha)

      Like

      1. The walker said he was really enjoying it and told me some tidbits he learned which made me make a mental note to tell you about it.

        I do enjoy when an author is not snobby as well. It makes it easier to immerse yourself in a book without being bogged down by details that the author seemed to think should be integral to the book.

        I was part of a blogging group (Patch.com) and we contributed to their many sites … when Charles Hale bought Patch.com from AOL, he changed the entire format and got rid of many people to streamline the company. There were once editors for each city, of each state where Patch.com had presence. When we had a regional editor, I was miffed initially when it was suggested I should change my blog format, but I decided she had more experience than me so I rolled with it … but I had thought that was something unique to me.

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      2. Hi Linda – the book sounds good – and your comment about AOL reminds me when they were a serious powerhouse – like 2001 – and I was surprised to meet someone recently who still had an AOL email. And interesting to hear about the changes with Patch.com – that reminds me that we will likely see more and more changes here at WordPress now that they have partnered with Google. I hope it is a good thing – but in the app – I have had some grid kind of music ad and if WordPress becomes “saturated with ads” like facebook and IG – I might not enjoy it here anymore. I dunno – I guess merges can be really good – but they also bring change – which can also be good –

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Wow – I listen to the news all day long and I did not know that WP partnered with Google. Not liking that either quite frankly. I stay on Facebook for the local news (including the crime sites sadly) and information about various parks that I go to, I have one friend who only communicates via Facebook, but that’s the extent of my time spent there. I have my privacy settings very high and I do not post anything on my Wall and have not for years. When I think of mergers, it is not a happy thing for me. The reason I met my friend Evelyn who lives in RVA, is because our medium-sized law firm “merged” with Williams Mullen in RVA. I wrote merged in quotes because it was an acquisition, pure and simple. And we went into it as one of the senior partners committed suicide a year or two before and they lost a lot of revenue as clients did not like the other corporate attorney handling their matters. We were primarily an insurance defense firm. Williams Mullen made all the attorneys raise their rates from $100.00 to $150.00 per hour more – my former boss, an equity partner, did that and his clients said “see ya” and then without clients that he had for decades, he was told he was not profitable and given a year to leave. I took on my current boss, but he was an of-counsel status and was told they didn’t have of counsel attorneys and was told he had to become a non-equity partner. They did not make him raise his rates right away but would be implementing it effective 02/01/03, so we left the day before that happened. The named partners lost a lot of clients and the Detroit branch of Williams Mullens was given two weeks’ notice that they were being shuttered. They were out of business on 12/31/04. So, it was lucrative for my boss as he keeps what he makes and does not keep just a percentage, but overhead for the office, etc. takes a large chunk too. My friend Evelyn worked for the head of the labor attorney department and my boss was the only one that did labor law – that is how I got to know her. I don’t have a smartphone so I don’t use the app. AOL sold out to Hale and Charles Hale immediately got rid of all local and state editors – each local Patch had their own editor, and a state editor that oversaw all the locals editors, plus regional community engagement editors … only a handful remained. We had a nice group of bloggers from across the U.S. and we posted on Patch, then shared our posts with one another in our group. Thanks for enlightening me on that merger Yvette – all I’ve heard the past few weeks is political news or the never-ending crime.

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      4. Hi – well more google news – I guess the two founders of Google are stepping down from their key roles too:
        “Alphabet and Google no longer need ‘two CEOs and a President’ to run both companies, so Larry Page and Sergey Brin are stepping down to let Sundar Pichai take over”
        and I say good for them for the huge success they have – and at 46 – maybe they can enjoy even more of what they want outside of business life”

        I appreciated your sharing about the history with William Mullens – and nice way to get to know that friend from RVA. I hope you can come and visit sometime.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. That’s interesting too Yvette. I listen to the news a lot and there is a business editor I hear on the news station and follow him on Twitter. I never heard that either, nor on the Bloomberg Report which is on 2X an hour – the politics news overwhelms the rest of the news, and of course, this morning was the jobs report. It was sad with this Firm – we were not ready to merge with a large firm, and did not have big firm mentality. It was too bad as it was enjoyable working there and a nice bunch of people.

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