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Concerning the Spiritual in Art (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) [Kindle Edition]

Wassily Kandinsky , M. T. H. Sadler

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'Seminal' - The Independent<

'A key text in the history of modernism' -Guardian


'Seminal' - The Independent<

'A key text in the history of modernism' -Guardian


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 3686 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 84 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 1449519806
  • Verlag: Dover Publications; Auflage: Revised (23. März 2012)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00A3YE9SW
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #249.492 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.6 von 5 Sternen  38 Rezensionen
168 von 172 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen a classic about color and form as spiritual symbols 9. August 1998
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf
Kandinsky spent a lifetime painting in search of the spiritual. His body of work was his philosophical opus, provoked initially by the prodigious philosophical works of Madame Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society, in which she introduced the Western world--and Kandinsky--to Eastern philosophies. Kandinsky believed that art had a duty to be spiritual in nature, an expression of "inner need," as he came to call it. He called "art for art's sake" a "vain squandering of artistic power." This book was both his call to artists to meet their obligation to humanity and his attempt to define and explain color and form in its relation to expressing the message of the soul.
84 von 85 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The philosophical breaktrough that lead to abstraction 15. März 2005
Von C. B Collins Jr. - Veröffentlicht auf
All art students are advised to read this short masterpiece but I suspect few young artists take the time to read the book that best explains the concepts that lead to abstract painting in the modern era. I think it would be useful if I pointed out some of the most important and interesting themes and ideas that Kandinsky explains so tht you can see the vast range of this short 80 page book.

First, Kandinsky was greatly influenced by music and recognized that music was judged under different standards than was painting. For example, music is not judged by how much the music sounds like noises in nature. We would never go to a symphony to hear the musicians imitate dogs barking, or ambulance sirens, or police whistles. Yet painting is judged by how well the painter reflects the natural world in a realistic style. Thus for Kandinsky, the ability for painting to lose the object, would free painting to pursue the spiritual. However, the ability for the painter to paint without painting the object is very much a challenge. He gives advice to the read on the use of line, form, and color to try to achieve this goal. But Kandinsky recognized how fragile this makes the painting process, for any brush stroke or color or shape can evoke the material world again. Kandinsky wishes the artist to free themselves from the material world so that they can express their inner impulses. Thus the abstract painting requires contemplation to reveal its meaning. Furthermore, the meaning may be a projection of the inner life of the viewer as much as it is the inner life of the artists. This concept is not new to music but it certainly was new to painting in 1911. Now we hear about the Rothko chapel in Fort Worth, where large abstract paintings by Mark Rothko create a meditative space for contemplative viewers. The spiritual aspect of abstract art is now a given in our culture, no longer a radical idea.

Second, Kandinsky has very insightful comments regarding his contemporaries. He recognizes Matisse as the 20th century master of color and Picasso as the 20th century master of line but he faults them both for not making the final step toward complete abandonment of the physical world. For example, he points out that even though Picasso developed the collage and Cubism, that Cubism is deconstruction of the physical world but not abandonment of the physical world and thus Picasso remains earth bound.

Third, Kandinsky asserts that imitative painting of other eras was a deadly trap for the artist, yet responding to the eternal call of the unconscious forces in an earlier period of art history was a valid area of exploration. His example is Picasso and other artists interest in the primitive. These artists did not wish to copy the primitive works but to respond to the same unconscious content that the primitive artist had tapped.

Fourth, Kandinsky believed that art progressed, that artistic concepts built on each other and that there was a triangle of artistic conception that moved forward to some end point, yet to be discovered. This concept of progress in art, similar to the idea of progress in science, and not related to such cultural values as progress in fashion has lead to much debate in the post-modern era. It is interesting to read Kandinski's opinion on this topic and reflect on the last 100 years to see if he could be correct or mistaken. I prefer to think that the progress is the continued exploration of the human unconscious, an infinity of symbols and images connecting us to our spiritual base.

Fifth, Kandinsky believed in a conceptual hierarchy in the world of painters and he thought only a few make it to the top of the pyramid where a few create truely unique solutions to visual problems. The others are imitative or formulaic and form the base of the pyramid.

Sixth, Kandinsky warns against pattern painting since he thinks this leads to monotany and away from spirituality. In this regard contemporary artists have certainly challenged his conception. In fact, Agnes Martin, the minimalist pattern painter, is regarding as a great spiritual painter. In my opinion, Kandinski would have loved Agnes Martin's paintings. The examples of pattern painting he gives in the book sound more like the patterns on wall paper more than the minimal grids of an Agnes Martin painting.

Finally, after all the explanation of why an abstract painting style should evolve and how artists can achieve that style, Kandinsky makes the linkage between the outer world of the painting and the inner world of the viewer with a quote from Meterlinck "The soul is curious for beauty."

Every artist owes it to themselves to read this short book on which so much art history, philosophy, and practice has been based.
89 von 95 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Invaluable historical document; challenge to the future. 5. Oktober 2001
Von darragh o'donoghue - Veröffentlicht auf
The 1910s was surely the most exciting, radical, innovative and genuinely NEW period in the history of all the arts, writing, music, painting, cinema, dance. it was also one of the few periods when creative frenzy was escorted by critical might, and is almost as famous for its artistic collectives, its '-isms', its iconoclasms and its spectacularly aggressive, wipe-the-slate-clean manifestoes as it is for any one artwork produced.
Today, however, there aren't many of these manifstoes that possess more than quaint historical value. Kandinsky's 'Concerning the Spiritual in Art' is one, and probably to our own shame, speaks as loudly to us today as it did to the artist's contemporaries. A cry against all that is bogus or a dead-end in art - the bourgeois-currying; the trend-following; the excessively materialistic, naturalistic or representational; art in which formal invention is not matched by emotional power - the book demands a return to spirituality in art in an age where a godless faith in science has resulted in a soulless culture.
Kandinsky is the artist who said that 'Art was close to religion', and his concept of painting is heavly bound up with his Russian orthodox upbringing (as well as later exposure to theosophy). One does not have to be a card-carrying mystic, however, to recognise the truth of his central argument, that the only art with the power to truly move us is that which is ruthlessly faithful to the artist's inner need, not public taste or contemporary styles.
this belief led Kandinsky towards abstraction: he rejected the idea that a painter should draw what was on the surface, instead of its inherent spirit or harmony (if this led to a cul-de-sac in 20th century art, this is because Kandinsky's mimics lacked his moral drive). This book is fascinating as Kandinsky, still creating recognisably (though distorted) representational works, was struggling towards the abstract geomotry for which he is now famous. It is essential for any lover of Kandinsky's work, and modern art in general, with its revealing analyses of colour and form, their 'psychology', and the various effects they can achieve. it is a portrait of modernism from the inside, and it is goosebumping reading a gifted contemporary passing judgement on Picasso and Matisse, although time has parted company with him in his preference for Maeterlinck and Isadora Duncan.
In his demand for a total art that would unite theatre, music and painting, he looks forward to the great Ballets Russes happenings, most significantly Nijinsky/Stravinsky/Picasso's 'The Rite of spring'. Throughout, he calls for painting to achieve the non-naturalistic liberation of music.
But behind the passion and certainty is an intellectually playful (not always caught by the fusty translation), though deadly earnest artist, who knows that everything he says is provisional and a guide, a record of his own groping, striving, tireless searching.
17 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Amazing 4. Januar 2007
Von Jonathan Ryan - Veröffentlicht auf
Kandinsky throws his ideas out in a slightly esoteric manner. It make take a few rereads to really grasp the quality of discourse he presents. But, in the end, his commentary shines brightly through his comparisons of music to painting. The spiritual triangle is comparable to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. It is important to remember that Kandinsky is not using the term "spiritual" in a religious sense.

This book is a very good read for anyone feeling slumped in their art making. And for anyone who wants to expose themselves to ways of thinking about art. By the third time I had read the material I had underlined and highlighted almost every line and filled all the margins with notes. The book is fantastic. It is especially good when paired with Hans Hofmann's essay "In Search for the Real." Although the ideas in the two books do not parallel. In fact the lines aren't even on the same page. Kandinksky's critiques of other familiar artists are very interesting too. Names like picasso and Cezanne pop up quite a bit.

I'll stop rambling now. Read the book, it is very good.
17 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen what art is and ought to be 15. April 2014
Von Mike Grant - Veröffentlicht auf
I didn't know much about Kandinsky, but after learning about his theory of precise abstract forms in The Painter's Secret Geometry: A Study of Composition in Art, I was inspired to say the least. Concerning the Spiritual in Art was an incredible read! I was pleasantly surprised by this powerful, lucid manifesto as artists are not always as eloquent with words as they are with images. This book takes concentration to understand, but that's typical for art theory books, right?! Here, teh famous Russian Expressionist calls the artist to proceed inward to cultivate the abstract expressions of the inner spirit and away from material representation.
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