Reissued with an introduction by John Berger, "The Necessity of Art" is a beautifully written meditation on art's importance in viewing the world in which we live. In this wide-ranging and erudite exploration of literary and fine art, Fischer looks at the relationship between art and social reality, arguing that truthful art must both reflect reality in all its flaws and imperfections, and help show how change and improvement might be brought about. With his emphasis on the individual's need to engage with society, his rejection of rampant consumerism and hyper technology, and his emphasis on hope, this radical, affirmative and humane vision of the artistic endeavor remains as timely today as when it was first published sixty years ago.
Born in Austria, Ernst Fischer (1899-1972) studied philosophy before working as a newspaper editor, radio commentator, and writer; in the years after World War Two he became a leading cultural commentator. His books include Art Against Ideology.