Brief introduction to this issue. Various exhibitions in the past few decades have shown that Western spirituality in general and occultism in particular have played an important role in modern art. Christopher Partridge’s concept of “occulture” serves well as an analytical tool for exploring the role of occultism in modern art and the lives of modern artists.
In the early twentieth century, scientific discoveries such as n-dimensionality, x-rays, and electromagnetism made their way into the discourse of Occultism, where they were subsequently reframed as the occult fourth dimension, clairvoyant x-ray vision, and thought vibration. As this article will show, modern artists such as the Early Abstract artists and the futurists, interested in Occultism as an avenue to a more spiritual art, integrated the by now ‘occultised’ ideas into their art and worldview.