Thursday, August 06, 2009

Kandinsky = Color Love

"Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with its many chords. The artist is the hand that, by touching this or that key, sets the soul vibrating automatically."
- Wassily Kandinsky



Early on in my painting education I became obsessed with the work of Wassily Kandinsky. It stemmed from a classroom assignment in which each student was challenged with creating a painting or series of paintings that combined the style, content or technique of two disparate, well-known artists. These were randomly selected. I selected Kandinsky and Francesco Clemente. What a combo!

While both painters left a lasting impression on me, Kandinsky's work, particularly his pre-Bauhaus phase, has influenced my own work heavily, even to this day.

Moscow I. 1916. Oil on canvas. 51.5 x 49.5 cm. The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.

Gorge Improvisation. 1914. Oil on canvas. 110 x 110 cm. Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany.

So, imagine my joy when I had the opportunity on our trip to France to visit the Centre Pompidou in Paris where a massive retrospective exhibition of Kandinsky's work was being shown. For me, it was like going to the Church of Color.

All Saints I. 1911. Oil on card. 50 x 64.5 cm. Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany.

Oh, and he's also a great source for quotes...
"The artist is not a 'Sunday child' for whom everything immediately succeeds. He does not have the right to live without duty. The task that is assigned to him is painful, it is a heavy cross for him to bear."

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The first time I saw a large sized reproduction of a Kandinsky -- and I had no idea who he was at this point -- I said, "It reminds me of music."

It turned out to be one of his pieces intended to do just that.

Isn't he the one who talks about music being the most pure form of art and that painting is just TRYING to capture what music captures naturally?

I love that.

Jennifer Hugon said...

Christine:
That's so cool! You could feel it.

Yes he wrote extensively on art and music. He drew literal correlations between tone and color, but also incorporated a spiritual element (makes me love him even more!)
Though, he can be rather ponderous and perhaps over-analyzes it all...


Here's another quote I love:
"The true work of art is born from the 'artist': a mysterious, enigmatic, and mystical creation. It detaches itself from him, it acquires an autonomous life, becomes a personality, an independent subject, animated with a spiritual breath, the living subject of a real existence of being."

Maria-Thérèse said...

Kandinsky is one of my favourites!!! I have seen some of his work in real life in New York and Rome and it has such an impact on me. The explosion of colours sort of wakes up my brain and I can hear some of his paintings - interesting then to read these comments above!!!

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!