Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Life Imbued with Color

“Lend your ears to music, open your eyes to painting, and... stop thinking!
Just ask yourself whether the work has enabled you to 'walk about' into a hitherto unknown world. If the answer is yes, what more do you want?

Wassily Kandinsky

It is reasonable to assume that of all the colors available to the Russian born artist Wassily Kandinsky green was his least favorite.

As he is reported to have said “Absolute green is the most restful color, lacking any undertone of joy, grief, or passion. On exhausted men this restfulness has a beneficial effect, but after a time it becomes tedious.

Whereas blue could be considered to be amongst his favorites. He include the color in name of two of the groups he formed with fellow artists. Die Blaue Reiter (the Blue Rider) which went on to publish the Der Blaue Reiter Almanach (The Blue Rider Almanac) which included three of Kandinsky’s essays (On the Question of Form, On Stage Composition and The Yellow Sound) was formed in 1911. Thirteen years later with Lyonel Feininger, Alexej Jawlensky and Paul Klee, Kandinsky became a member of Die Blaue Vier (the Blue Four) which saw them exhibit together for the next nine years.

And about the color he has been reported as saying “The deeper the blue becomes, the more strongly it calls man towards the infinite, awakening in him a desire for the pure and, finally, for the supernatural... The brighter it becomes, the more it loses its sound, until it turns into silent stillness and becomes white.

The son of a prosperous Odessa tea merchant, Kandinsky was born with the gift of synesthesia which in his case meant when he heard music he saw colors, and when he saw colors he heard music.
Encouraged by his father, as a child Kandinsky studied painting and drawing along with piano and the cello. After graduating from the Grekov Odessa Art School he went on to study economics and law at the University of Moscow where he lectured after graduation.

Inspired by Claude Monet’s paintings of haystack’s Kandinsky gave up his academic career and took up painting when he was 30.

About Monet’s haystacks Kandinsky is reported to have said “That it was a haystack the catalogue informed me. I could not recognize it. This non-recognition was painful to me. I considered that the painter had no right to paint indistinctly. I dully felt that the object of the painting was missing. And I noticed with surprise and confusion that the picture not only gripped me, but impressed itself ineradicably on my memory. Painting took on a fairy-tale power and splendor.

He studied at Munich’s Academy of Fine Arts and taught at the Phalanx School of Painting an offshoot of the Phalanx Art Group. For the duration of the First World War Kandinsky returned to Russia but after its cessation he had a falling out with the nascent communist regime and returned to Germany to teach at the Bauhaus School. When the Nazi’s closed the school Kandinsky move to France where he lived for the rest of his life.

Inspired by the spiritual philosophies of the Theosophical society Kandinsky is generally credited with painting the first purely abstract work. Although his theoretical writings on the subject are said to have a greater influence on its practice, influencing many artists from the latter half of 20th Century up to today.

But it is his ability to see and hear color combined with his spiritual investigations that give the power to Kandinsky’s work.

As he has said “Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.

The exhibition Kandinsky. Una retrospectiva is currently on show at Madrid’s CentroCentro cultural and museum center until the 28th of February next year.


Unknown said...

Enjoy reading your artivles

Blogger said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.