Art interprets the visible world, physics charts its unseen workings–making the two realms seem completely opposed. But in Art & Physics, Leonard Shlain tracks. “Art and physics, like wave and particle, are an integrated duality: They are simply two different but complementary facets of a single description. A California surgeon explores the striking parallels in the evolution of Western art and science in this enlightening exploration of where ideas.

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A fascinating and provocative discussion–slow in coalescing but worth the wait. At points when I was reading this it felt too much like scientific progress was all important and art was just some kind of handmaiden- but maybe that’s just me reading too much into it. This may sound far out, but I would suggest you give this book a fighting chance.

That blindsight exists has been well documented; perhaps it is not too much to believe that some seers, like the mythical blind Greek prophet, Tiresias, can see that which sglain not visible.

Art and Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time, and Light

Artists are nonverbal prophets who translate their visions into symbols before there are words: Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger. Overall, a very compelling read, although some of the biology in the last couple of chapters is quite out of date.

This is probably one of the most infuriatingly frustrating books I have read in quite a long time. He turns next to Einstein’s second great 20th century discovery concerning gravity and uses numerous examples from art to show how the sculptor anticipated and expressed the great physicist’s revolution. By the way, such examples of “simultaneity” can be seen in the cave paintings of the Lascaux Cave – does it mean that our artistically gifted human ancestors had some form of special relativity pre-cognition more sh,ain 20, years ane But acquiring knowledge from his self-study turns out to be his advantage because it makes his opinion more accessing to the larger audience.


Praise for Leonard Shlain’s Books – Leonard Shlain | Best-selling Author

The only criticism I have is that I shlaim that all artwork he mentions in the text could be included in the book. If you want to read science, then I suggest reading science as this book might be disappointing. It depends on the curvature and topology: Jul 17, kyle added it Shelves: Account Options Sign in.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. He suggests that the existence of a universal mind -“an overarching, disembodied universal consciousness that binds and organizes the power generated by every person’s thoughts” – could explain “how an artist can incorporate ideas into his or her work that have not as yet been discovered by physicists and that are certainly unknown to the general public.

Professional academics, scientists, artists and so forth who have spent years and years studying, practicing and executing their crafts can, and maybe should, possess a snob factor about this kind of book. If artists really are unknowingly creating works that anticipate cutting-edge physics, what could explain such prescience?

Before news moved at lightning speed, it was interesting how people from different parts of the world were seeing the same things at around the same times.

Even though we saw him throughout the conference—in a workshop on magic, on the sidewalk lined with impossible trees—I never had the literary journal to give to him. Then, nearly simultaneously, a revolutionary physicist discovers a new way to think about the world. In order to support his self-proclaimed revolutionary thesis, the author indulges into an exercise of very selective and disingenuous sampling, peppering the book with confusing if not misleading statements when describing physical theories such as relativity and quantum mechanics.


There was a problem adding your email address. Feb 22, Rachel rated it it was amazing. The ;hysics uses primarily paintings as his artistic examples physivs against revolutionary physicist discoveries. Like another wonderful book of his “The Goddess VS the Alphabet,” Shlain is srt coming at his subject as an expert but rather as a curious person.

I abandoned it untilI decided to read it again.


We spontaneously drove the four hours to Aspen loenard see comic book writer Grant Morrison. I figured I’d read the first two chapters, get the main idea give up.

Some struck while reading as brilliant. This book ranges from a numerous fields, including literature, psychology, philosophy, and of course, art and physics. The book’s subject is simply too broad for its thesis to be rigorously supported.

Art & Physics | by Leonard Shlain

What does this actually mean? And, more interesting to be honest. Clearly possessing a well-educated and inquisitive mind he unapologetically seeks to describe art history and the h Although I am not sure, after reading this book, that I subscribe leoard the fundamental premise that the author suggests in this work, I highly recommend a read. The chapter on music seemed perfunctory and a bit off the mark, but I don’t know if it’s because that’s my area of expertise, or because Shlain felt obligated to add a bit about music even though he didn’t really understand it.