PDA

View Full Version : Kandinsky On Spirituality


pampe
09-16-2003, 08:07 PM
Just started this book by Kandinsky...anyone read it?

SanDL
09-16-2003, 08:14 PM
I've tried many times. I wonder if anything was lost in translation. As much as I'm "into" it, I couldn't establish a sense of flow with that book. It was just written in an arcane kind of way.

I decided that just having it near me was enough. I love Kandinsky.

Cathy Morgan
09-16-2003, 10:12 PM
Yes, but it's been a while. Did you want to discuss something about it? I have a copy nearby, just haven't read it recently.

Keith Russell
09-17-2003, 06:16 PM
Just bought it, haven't read it yet...

K

Pilan
09-17-2003, 11:56 PM
I should get this book. Kandinsky was a GOD of color, in my books :D

heh
09-18-2003, 01:55 AM
there is a free downloadable etext of it
i have a link somewhere

Pilan
09-18-2003, 11:45 PM
WOW, thats wonderful. I will be watching this thread.

thankyou

Originally posted by heh
there is a free downloadable etext of it
i have a link somewhere

heh
09-19-2003, 01:07 AM
http://www.pjbsware.demon.co.uk/gutenberg/gtnletIK.htm#kandinsk

itís a little more than half way down
i couldnít get the zip files to open
but the text ones work

i havenít read it yet, by the way

pampe
09-22-2003, 10:03 PM
wow...thanks

I could have saved money on the book....

I am finding it rather difficult to get into...but I am reading 3 others and it probably requires more attention

pampe
09-23-2003, 11:37 PM
his view of one color:

Just as orange is red brought nearer to humanity by yellow, so
violet is red withdrawn from humanity by blue. But the red in
violet must be cold, for the spiritual need does not allow of a
mixture of warm red with cold blue.

Bill J
10-10-2003, 11:52 AM
I'll try to make this short. Kadinskys book is very interesting. It is difficult reading because of several reasons. First he is a Russian writing in German, plus it is translated by an Englishman (M. T. H. Sadler).
Secondly it was written in approximatly 1911 (about 100 years ago). Kadinsky was a great Expressionist but lacks in writing organizatuion. If you read Section 7 first then sect. 8 then sect.5 followed by sect. 6. then sections 1,2,3,4 and finish with sect. 9 (the conclusion) the books flows better and isn't as fragmented. The book should be read a few times to let everthing sink in and should be kept as a reference book.


bill

pampe
10-14-2003, 10:55 AM
thanks, Bill...gonna take your advice

I love his chapters about color

Precious Mazie
10-14-2003, 06:20 PM
Hi I am new to WC and youíre posting intrigues me.
I down loaded the book(thank-you that is a great website!) but am a little skeptical of the description of color quoted by pampe.
"Just as orange is red brought nearer to humanity by yellow, so
violet is red withdrawn from humanity by blue. But the red in
violet must be cold, for the spiritual need does not allow of a
mixture of warm red with cold blue." Is Kandinski saying that all color is either close to or far from humanity? What does that mean? If you like blue or go through a blue period you are withdrawing from humanity? And what is his definition of humanity? The world at large, your specific society, family or is it your feeling about others, as in "show a little humanity and give the beggar some money." ? I know color can trigger feeling red-anger blue-sad but mixing red and blue is not violet=angry-depression. (I guess it could be but I see violet as royal-prideful) Then again isn't it dependent on the subject or context that would denote its mood? I love violets (the flower) they make me happy. I think a lot of the feeling comes from their beautiful color. Anyway looking forward to reading this book and discussing it here

pampe
10-15-2003, 10:34 PM
great, mazie...maybe together we can understand it!


love your tag line

Precious Mazie
10-15-2003, 11:45 PM
Started reading it today. I really enjoy it because if an artist work is mentioned I go look it up on the net or if a concept that I have head about but never really researched I look that up. Even looked up a composer and downloaded some of his music! I don't agree with a lot of what I have read but some things strike a chord. Have you started the book yet? I started at the beginnings even though it was recommended to start at 8 with it on the computer instead of a book it is harder (I think) to find the place where I need to be. Am looking forward to discussing it! But itís late here tonight so will post some of I impressions tomorrow. Night Y'all! PM

melaleuca
10-16-2003, 06:57 PM
Originally posted by Bill J
If you read Section 7 first then sect. 8 then sect.5 followed by sect. 6. then sections 1,2,3,4 and finish with sect. 9 (the conclusion) the books flows better and isn't as fragmented. The book should be read a few times to let everthing sink in and should be kept as a reference book.


bill
Thanks, Bill- will follow your recommended path. I downloaded the text yesterday but haven't started it.

Precious Mazie
10-16-2003, 06:58 PM
Well spent all day locked in a hotel room with nothing to do but read the book and surf the web doing research. I want to say to start with I am not a fan of abstract. I like some of it but am drawn to it more for color. I am trying to be open minded as I read and I may be getting an understanding of why abstractionist are doing what they are doing. I have been looking at the works of the artists mentioned. I have found Picasso's that I have actualy liked (His more graphic or more representtational works as "Don Quixote", "hand full of flowers" and "white dove" along with portrait of his son. Because these works are not shown in art history books just works like "anger" and cubism. I can no longer say that I do not like Picasso though I think his not so privat life leaves much to be desired. I sometimes have a hard time divorcing the art from the artist. I think that knowing too much about the artist is a big draw back to appreciaing art. Some how the knowledge taint or colors my view. Right or wrong thats me.)

"Modern artists are beginning to
realize their social duties. They are the spiritual teachers of
the world, and for their teaching to have weight, it must be
comprehensible. Any attempt, therefore, to bring artist and
public into sympathy, to enable the latter to understand the
ideals of the former, should be thoroughly welcome; and such an
attempt is this book of Kandinsky's." MICHAEL T. H. SADLER TRANSLATOR'S INTRODUCTION

[This is a lofty goal and one that raised my hopes for this book, I am not sure of the meaning of the word spiritual here. It will be intresting to see how he defines it or uses it in a clearer context. However this quote strikes me as an odd statement when you read the area where he feels most people donít understand and his comments about them, would not make them want to try! ]

"'To send light into the darkness of men's
hearts--such is the duty of the artist,' said Schumann. 'An
artist is a man who can draw and paint everything,' said Tolstoi."

[Ah the perpetual argument of what is art or who is an artist!]

"Of these two definitions of the artist's activity we must choose
the second, if we think of the exhibition just described. On one
canvas is a huddle of objects painted with varying degrees of
skill, virtuosity and vigour, harshly or smoothly. To harmonize
the whole is the task of art. With cold eyes and indifferent mind
the spectators regard the work. Connoisseurs admire the "skill"
(as one admires a tightrope walker), enjoy the "quality of
painting" (as one enjoys a pasty). But hungry souls go hungry
away. "

[Obviously some hungry souls may go away hungry others may be quite filled. If his argument is that only nonrepresentational art is art and only that is to be produced in the future then others will be hungry for beauty of form, function, shape, of the representational worlds yet to be.]

"The vulgar herd stroll through the rooms and pronounce the pictures "nice" or "splendid." Those who could speak have said
nothing, those who could hear have heard nothing. This condition
of art is called "art for art's sake." This neglect of inner
meanings, which is the life of colours, this vain squandering of
artistic power is called "art for art's sake."
The artist seeks for material reward for his dexterity, his power
of vision and experience. His purpose becomes the satisfaction of
vanity and greed. In place of the steady co-operation of artists
is a scramble for good things. There are complaints of excessive
competition, of over-production. Hatred, partisanship, cliques,
jealousy, intrigues are the natural consequences of this aimless,
materialist art. " Kandinsky Section I

[These words really make me upset. I thought the purpose was to educate the public not call them names. I may be wrong here but I always thought that art for artís sake was the cry of the abstractionist for their works not a the abstractionist against realistic art. Art for art sake was the artist creating because he wanted to express something not because he was pleasing a future customer. It seems to me that the last sentence in this area has increased with the introduction of abstract art it certainly has not decreased.]

Well I read a lot more and have a lot more to ask and question. I did find this website with Kandinsky's art. http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/kandinsky/

Well probably more than enough for now. PM

Bill J
10-16-2003, 07:39 PM
Precious Maise----Dont mix up Picasso and Kadinsky Wassily was a leader and teacher of abstract. Picasso was obscessed with himself.
Check out Henri Matisse (-…mile-BenoÓt)
Henri was the best 20th century artist out of France. He was probably the most normal of all abstract artists of his time. A great teacher and innovator who produced great work his entire life(even from his bed later in life). On top of everything else Henri was a "nice guy".


bill

Precious Mazie
10-16-2003, 08:22 PM
I did view a lot of Henri Matisse today too. I have liked his work more than Picasso's because of the subject and color. My comment about Picasso was made because I hate Picasso. From the limited amout of his work that I've seen in Art History books I never saw anything that I liked. But today while reading and "net surffing" research I saw several things that I do like and it has surprised me! Now I can't say I hate Picasso because I do like some of the things I saw. I can only say that I don't like his life and most of his art. I think in a small way I am growing by reading this book even though I am yet to be converted to abstraction. I still don't completly understand the fashionation of modern art. Most just don't speak to me but I must admit that there are a lot of realistic art that does not speak to me either. Here is one of my favorit abstracts. It was collected by be before I realize it was important to also collect the name of the artist so I don't know who painted it. And all I can say about it is I just like the colors! And to my shame today is the first day I even knew it had a name! (Blushing ) PM

pampe
10-16-2003, 08:58 PM
OH, I am so glad we are starting to discuss this....Bill..I am going to re-read starting tonight the order you suggested

I truly believe in the marriage of ART and SPIRIT, so ion that, I can see where he is going, Maize

[These words really make me upset. I thought the purpose was to educate the public not call them names. I may be wrong here but I always thought that art for artís sake was the cry of the abstractionist for their works not a the abstractionist against realistic art. Art for art sake was the artist creating because he wanted to express something not because he was pleasing a future customer. It seems to me that the last sentence in this area has increased with the introduction of abstract art it certainly has not decreased.]

I tihnk you have to remember the time and place he was in...and where he came from



melaleuca...glad you are here to help too!

Precious Mazie
10-17-2003, 11:40 AM
Well Here I am again in my hotel room! [ Im going to miss this place because Sunday we are leaving and I will be on the road for a few days then back to a dial up modem! This DSL is wonderful!] Anyway here are my observations and feelings on the rest of the Introduction and Section one. my comments are in brackets.

The question most generally asked about Kandinsky's art is: "Whatis he trying to do?"

[a good question to ask yourself when standing in front of any piece of art]

His analysis of colours and their effects on the spectator is not the real basis of his art, because, if it were, one could, with the help of a scientific manual, describe one's emotions before his pictures with perfect accuracy. And this is impossible.

Kandinsky is painting music. That is to say, he has broken down
the barrier between music and painting, and has isolated the pure
emotion which, for want of a better name, we call the artistic
emotion.

Anyone who has listened to good music with any enjoyment
will admit to an unmistakable but quite indefinable thrill.

[Yes!]

Even when Kandinsky's idea is universally understood
there may be many who are not moved by his melody. Of course colour-music is no new idea. That is to say attempts have been made to play compositions in colour, by flashes and harmonies. {Footnote: Cf. "Colour Music," by A. Wallace Rimington. Hutchinson. 6s. net.}

[http://home.vicnet.net.au/~colmusic/] found this site that may be of intrest.]

The power of music to give expression
without the help of representation is its noblest possession. No
painting has ever had such a precious power. Kandinsky is
striving to give it that power, and prove what is at least the
logical analogy between colour and sound, between line and rhythm
MICHAEL T. H. SADLER TRANSLATOR'S INTRODUCTION


[I love this idea of painting and music. It is one of my favorite themes in art. I donít see music in Kandinskyís art. I am going to continue looking at the works I have from the web. When this book is finished I hope that I will not be Ďone of the many who are not moved by his melody.Ē]

The onlooker turns away from the artist who has higher ideals and who cannot see his life purpose in an art without aims.

[but he does have aims! To reduce all things to line and shape and color and music.]

Sympathy is the education of the spectator from the point of view
of the artist. It has been said above that art is the child of
its age. Such an art can only create an artistic feeling which is
already clearly felt. This art, which has no power for the
future, which is only a child of the age and cannot become a
mother of the future, is a barren art. She is transitory and to
all intent dies the moment the atmosphere alters which nourished
her.

[This could also refer to the concept of this book and Kandinskyís art or abstract art in general. Really only time will tell. Realistic art has been around since the stone ages. How barren is that? However flash in the pan art always haroldís its self as the next forward step in art. Then dies as fast as it is born, Pop Art or art made with human excrement to name just a few, they will always be named in an art history book but that is because it is history, a lot of things are history that are not good. I am fascinated in art history books they all seem to end with Picasso. Picasso was so drastically different, abstract in general is so drastically different than realistic art but what now? What is so drastically different or new since the 1900?]

The other art, that which is capable of educating further,
springs equally from contemporary feeling, but is at the same
time not only echo and mirror of it, but also has a deep and
powerful prophetic strength.

[If you were to take the ďotherĒ out of this sentence I would agree whole heartily! I believe in one sentence that this should be the aim of art, all art. However here he seems to think that only his type of art qualifies]

The spiritual life, to which art belongs and of which she is one
of the mightiest elements, is a complicated but definite and
easily definable movement forwards and upwards. This movement is the movement of experience. It may take different forms, but it holds at bottom to the same inner thought and purpose. KANDINSKY Section I

[If he were talking about what the aim should be when creating any art I heartily agree. I think that when we start out to create a piece of art we should have a goal of communicating something a thought a feeling an emotion even just a gift. Whatever as long as you know then when complete you stand back and say did this communicate the goal I have in mind.]

pampe
10-20-2003, 09:55 PM
Maize...I hope you are back from your hotel rooms. I ahve been taking notes.....


P

Precious Mazie
10-24-2003, 06:43 PM
Hurray I'm out of the hotel and back home (at least for a week) then off for another two weeks in MI and IL. Been so busy catching up on the work around here I haven't been able to read anymore. But WILL keep going when I can! Looking back on this thread I sort of hogged the space! Sorry about that! I guess the combination of interest in the subject and book and the fact I had a lot of time on my hands sort of shows!:( Is any one else reading this book? What do y'all think? I will try to keep my future posts shorter! :) PM

blumoon
02-27-2004, 09:24 PM
[FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=4][COLOR=Black]I think this is a wonderful inspirational book. I stumbled upon it several years ago, while painting in New Mexico, and I still keep it close at hand, in my studio, as a reference book, and love to read it when I am feeling stuck. After I found it, I read that Georgia O'Keefe read it every single day.

gwennaart
02-29-2004, 03:33 PM
I'm new to WC also. This sounds intriguing. I'll try to read it and follow this closely. May be hard to read when very sleepy but I will try.