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... read more
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... read more
Point and Line to Plane
In this book, published 16 years after Concerning the Spiritual in Art, Kandinsky digs deeper in the research of interaction of nature, arts, and human, though from a concrete position already. Starting from the centerpiece, i.e. a point, he studies its basic properties and capabilities: at first academically, then in fine art and other arts, and finally in natural and practical contexts. A line is born from a moving point. Multiple lines interact on the “basic plane”* to produce a composition: “a composition is nothing other than an exact law-abiding organization of the vital forces which, in the form of tensions, are shut up within the elements.”
Kandinsky develops his theory in a peculiar language, where geometrical,... read more