Art And The Necessity Of History

V. G. Kiernan


Ernst Fischer writes on art from a well-defined point of view, undogmatic but Marxist, a conviction that to think of art history as an evolution merely of form, isolated from social pressures, is "to end up in a cloud-cuckoo-land of abstract speculation and aestheticism, miles from reality". In his life he has been faithful to the Marxist principle of uniting thought with action, for he is a poet and playwright as well as critic, and also a lifelong socialist, member of a soldiers' council after the first world war, Minister of Education in Austria after the second. He has seen with his own eyes how art and artists have fared in an age of great events, and has himself been a living part of this age.

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