Theories of Modern Art

I am currently reading Theories of Modern Art by Herschel B. Chipp.  It is basically a collection of letters and writings by artists such as Van Gogh, Cezanne, Gauguin, Kandinsky, Klee, etc.  This book is packed with lots of really good insight, discussion, and history.  I was most recently fascinated by Van Gogh grappling with the question of form vs. imagination.  In some of his letters, he insists that direct observation and study of the model is the only way to go.  However, after a brief visit from Gauguin, he is enticed by abstraction and working from his own mind.  He does later reverts back to his old beliefs but reading his thoughts while going through this process is inspiring.  Most artists, myself included, can surely relate to this common artistic dilemma.  I am savoring this book.