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Artist and Critic Author(s): Justus Bier and Kenneth Callahan Reviewed work(s): Source: College Art Journal,

Vol. 13, No. 1 (Autumn, 1953), p. 42 Published by: College Art Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/772396 . Accessed: 06/05/2012 07:25
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42

COLLEGE

ART

JOURNAL

ARTIST AND CRITIC


The critic (Justus Bier, The CourierJournal, Louisville, November 23, 1952):
"Callahan is a metaphysical artist concerned with Dantesque visions of the universe. He revives the Last Judgement themes of masses of people drifting through space. What differentiates his renderings of such themes from the. older, more orthodox renderings, is that his clouds of people seem to float aimlessly through space without a judge condemning them to Heaven or Hell. His art seems to be born out of a despair of this world and a vague hope for immortality in a higher realm." groups is I feel entirely without foundation in basic reality. The separation of animals from men, of rocks from animals, of atoms from galaxies are all purely arbitrary man-made divisions which I think came about through man's superficial observations and were designed by man to make the matter of daily life of the body and the spirit comfortable, secure, and 'practical.' "I think this concept of separation is an over-simplification and, on closer examination, these divisions and ideas fall apart and real disorder exists as it does today. Whereas the orderly universe of truth is the simply incredible and wonderful order that 'exists when the universe as a whole is contemplated -it's this order I'm trying to find for myselfI know it exists and hope someday to fully experience it. It's there for all men to understand if they will. Everything you examine in nature repeats this miraculous order-everything I read the scientists tell us of atomic structure, or the structure of the universe repeats the same." Kenneth Callahan, for many years associated with the Seattle Art Museum, is now teaching painting at Seattle University.

The artist (letter to Justus Bier):


"The feeling of despair you find in the paintings, results from my attempt to comment on men's avoidance of the truth which I feel lies in the interrelationship of all things in life-rocks-people-ideas-animals-galaxies-atoms which all stem from one Godhead and which all are part of that Godhead, inevitable, interrelated. The seeming separation of family groups and on through to racial

Kenneth Callahan."Song of the Prophets. 1952. Owned by the Artist.