Aesthetic Realism in the Press

Home page: Aesthetic Realism in the Press Education  |  The EconomyRacismArt & LifeLove & FamilyWar & PeaceMore
Reprinted from...
West Village, East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Tribeca and Lower East Side

February 13, 2002                                                      New York, NY
Scene of her mind change

To The Editor:

     It was very affecting to read about the Grove Street Playhouse (new article, Feb. 6, "Curtain falls on beloved theater home to Beats and 'Three Bears').  However, two things were left out: that space also housed the Village Arts Center, and later the Terrain Gallery, an institution of large cultural importance which was there from 1963 to 1973.  It was in the Terrain Gallery that there were dramatic presentations of Aesthetic Realism, the education founded in 1941 by the American poet and critic Eli Siegel, who lived in and loved Greenwich Village and wrote many poems about it. Also at the Terrain Gallery were exhibitions by many noted contemporary artists, all based on this Aesthetic Realism principle: "All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves."

     I'll never forget the first time I went there on a beautiful fall night in 1965.  As I got off the train from Brooklyn, had dinner at O. Henry's, and walked into the Terrain Gallery, I didn't know that through what I would hear there I would never see the world the same way again.  I heard these two revolutionary  principles: "The world, art and self explain each other: each is the aesthetic oneness of opposites" and a description of contempt: "There is a disposition in every person to think he will be for himself by making less of the outside world."

     I have studied Aesthetic Realism for 36 years.  So I hail 39 Grove St. for introducing me to Aesthetic Realism.  The Terrain Gallery is now located at the not-for-profit Aesthetic Realism Foundation, 141 Greene St. in Soho.

Faith Stern
Stern is an Aesthetic Realism consultant

Aesthetic Realism Foundation
141 Greene Street
New York, NY 10012

A not-for-profit educational foundation