LIBRARY JOURNAL, September 1, 1969

AESTHETIC REALISM: We Have Been There; Six Artists on the Siegel Theory of Opposites. 119p. illus. Definition Pr. 1969. ISBN 910492-11-5. LC 69-17523. art/phil

Heraclitus, Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, and even Martin Buber have posited contraries and polarities in their philosophies. Eli Siegel, however, seems to be the first to demonstrate that "all beauty is the making one of the permanent opposites in reality." Since the 1940's this poet-philosopher-aesthetician has been advocating Aesthetic Realism: "that the structure of reality is aesthetic." He has also been demonstrating the practicality of and the necessity for the aesthetic criticism of self. The Siegel Theory of Opposites relates life to art and is basically a criterion for all branches of aesthetics. In painting, for example, it is an investigation of the genesis of a canvas, its manner of execution, and its value as a work of art. Siegel's theory operates equally well in drama, poetry, photography, and printmaking, as the nine short essays making up this book illustrate. Two important writings of Siegel, "Is Beauty the Making One of Opposites" and "Art as Life," are appended. All this adds up to an interesting little volume which can be warmly recommended for all art collections. /Sept 1, 1969