cover image Mystical Now C

Mystical Now C

Sister Wendy Beckett, Wendy Beckett. Universe Publishing(NY), $25.95 (160pp) ISBN 978-0-87663-647-3

A Catholic nun and prolific art critic, Beckett perceives a spiritual presence in Mark Rothko's floating rectangles of pure color, in the soaring steel slabs of Richard Serra's sculpture, Fulcrum , and in Margaret Neve's magical ``naive'' painting, Trees of Gold , in which sheep from her Welsh childhood symbolize eternal innocence. Featuring 65 works by Klee, Picasso, Matisse, de Kooning, Beverly Pepper, Stanley Spencer, Jules Olitski, Helen Frankenthaler, Richard Diebenkorn and many less familiar artists, this volume is a wonderful odyssey through a neglected domain of modern art, its exploration of the spiritual or sacred. Beckett's uncanny communion with the inner meanings of these paintings and sculptures opens readers to art's transformative potential. Her excellent selection of artworks ranges from conceptual and abstract to symbolic and realist styles. (Sept.)