What Is Objective Art?

As defined by Russian mystic George Gurdjieff, objective art is any painting, poem, piece of music or other artistic work created with deliberate conscious effort, free of subjective influence. Gurdjieff cites the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci and the Taj Mahal as two major examples of objective art.

George Gurdjieff’s philosophy divides art into two categories: subjective and objective art. Subjective art is more common because it is a result of the individual artist’s feelings and experiences. He claims that objective art is increasingly rare because it involves the removal of the artist’s ego so that he may serve as a vessel to create work that serves humanity as a whole. Leonardo da Vinci’s work was designed to enlighten the observer. Sah Jahan’s design of the Taj Mahal provided a spiritual benefit for the people.

Indian mystic Osho has described subjective art as a private form of expression where the audience is never considered, such as the paintings of Picasso. Objective art aims to bring the observer into a transcendent experience. Like Gurdjieff, Osho says that Eastern art is more likely to be objective than Western art. The temples of India and other art associated with Buddhism and meditation can be considered objective.

Gurdjieff believed that modern art is unable to fulfill the spiritual needs of humanity because it is mainly subjective. He believed objective art was closely tied to mysticism, and that both may be obsolete.