This is the last of three answers to Kurt's letters. I am not sure the other ones will show up. GL
I started this one already but it suddenly threw me out and I cannot
find it again. The problem with painting something "Mystical" is that
, ideally you should be at least student of mysticism.
Mysticism has a hard and precise definition [with an exception]. It is the belief that individuality [individual personality and individual souls] are an illusion and one inclusive soul is the reality.
So, in so far as most 20th century artists were striving to express themselves in all their particularity, most of them cannot be called mystics. In so far as he was able to hold that position Thomas Merton could be called a mystic. I knew Ad Reinhardt too well to call him a mystic. But I would agree that he believed that there was something distinct from human life and different from other forms of thought, and that was art. In his paintings over a period of some 20 years, he tried to separate the connectedness from the differences more and more, and finally in the black paintings achieved his greatest success in making paintings in which the flutter of connection ambushed you after you had been looking at the painting for some 20 to 60 seconds. His paintings [with out glass on them] will produce a wonderful movement up and out the top at that time. That, though, did not make him a mystic, it did make him an illustrator of mysticism. And I think he would have been satisfied with that.
A mystic is someone who believes that the many individual egos [to a religious, souls] are illusions, and we are all u ited in one soul. Usually mystics are to be found in a known religion. All of them, except Judaism will allow that definition. Judaism believes in the imviolibility of the sould so greatly that in it, mysticism is the desire to be as close as possible to the presence of G-d for all time, but not to be lost in him. There is mystical Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, and even Muslim art[although without any images]. And it is possible to think about several early 20th century abstract artists as people who were concerned with these ideas.
If these is what you were talking about, it is possible, although I dopubt that anyone much out in the art world today, thinks that way.