When I think about creativity I am always reminded of art theorist Anton Ehrenzweig’s second book The Hidden Order of Art (1967).
Among other things Ehrenzweig taught the Art Teachers Certificate course at Goldsmiths for two years before his death in 1966. In his preface to the book (published posthumously) Ehrenzweig requests that his reader ‘take out from the book what appeals to him and leave the rest unread’. Now, it may seem odd that he encouraged such a fragmented approach to its reading. Yet, the whole point of the book is that it is the accidental, or the fragment, that we chance upon that is so central to creativity. Here, Ehrenzweig’s ideas on art education and creativity come together in a book that was well regarded upon publication.
That it fell quickly out of favour may have had something to do with its interdisciplinary approach, a relatively unusual way of working (in terms of art writing) in the 1960s. Now, of course, inter- and trans-disciplinary ways of working are commonplace. I would say Ehrenzweig’s ideas are more relevant than ever. For me he is an extremely important if rather forgotten thinker when it comes to a history of art education.