Wassily Kandinsky. Concerning the Spiritual in Art. 1910 year

Concerning the Spiritual in Art


In this remarkable book, anticipating “the spiritual turning-point” Kandinsky reflects on his understanding of progress in this direction. This is not a process that would happen automatically. It requires a lot of work and implies a great responsibility of both artist and viewer. The task of the artist is to find “the principle of the innermost necessity” that he or she can use through expressive means to achieve the goal, “vibration of the human soul.”

Using captivating analogies, Kandinsky dwells at length on the artistic means: the psychology of color, the compositional interrelation of forms, etc. However, the main goal of an artist still remains to find that very innermost necessity”, that is based on the spiritual foundations of the individual.

In his or her turn, the work of the viewer is to find within him- or herself the purity of perception, which, at this level, does not relate to the beauty of nature. The ideal imitation of nature as the summit point of artistic mastery has remained in the past. The impressions of impressionists, the emotions of expressionists, the experiments of cubists - all these stages have long been passed, and now the task of the viewer is to see the beauty of pure color and pure shape.

Kandinsky anticipates the emergence of abstract art as the purest form of influence on the human soul, and views the future optimistically, foretelling the upcoming emergences of the epoch of great spirituality.

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