Wassily Kandinsky. Retrospect. 1913 year



Kandinsky is very frank in this autobiographical novel as he weaves together memories of his childhood, his Munich impressions and thoughtful reflections on art. Whether it is a story of his favorite childhood toy, his first impressions of the impressionists’ canvases on exhibitions in Moscow, or a passage on his favorite topic - the objective and the abstract in art - all of the content is not just a book; it is a heart-to-heart conversation. As you read Retrospect, you seem to comprehend vividly the shining facets of the artist’s soul.

The story being told is non-linear, it is like a flow: reminiscences of the expedition to the Vologda Governorate, where the motley colored everyday life of the Zyryans is perceived by the young artist as the literal immersion into a work of art: “art surrounded me, and I entered into it”; thought on how the power born of innermost necessity forces the content to subjugate the form, and the spirit to subjugate the matter; reflections on his gradual coming to understand that the subject matter is not a necessary part of his art; a painstaking search for his new artistic language; his walks with a sketch book around Munich, where an artist learned to be an artist: to see the nature, feel the colors and listen to his own soul – learning first and foremost from himself.