Kandinsky: Art as a Spiritual Process

Topics: Der Blaue Reiter, Neue Künstlervereinigung München, Alexej von Jawlensky Pages: 4 (1325 words) Published: May 11, 2012
Define an art issue and describe different points of view.
“The more frightening the world becomes...the more art becomes abstract.” Wassily Kandinsky believed that creativity is constantly changing and evolving according to political and social climate. He thought that the more obscure and complex reality becomes, so too does art - Art reflects the restlessness of the times. During Kandinsky’s lifetime, modernity everywhere was advancing constantly. Unresolved problems emerged as reality failed to exhaust the questions of life. The new 20th century man discovered a contradictory alter ego that would later be the subject for psychoanalysis. ‘Kandinsky was increasingly convinced that nature and extreme forms represented an obstacle in the path of the elevation of the human spirit. Forms had therefore to be eliminated, to allow the spirit to reach the perfect liberty of the form of life, which continually feeds the imagination with sounds and colours.’ (Paola Rapelli, 1999). He wrote in Concerning the Spiritual in art, “Our soul is reawakening from a long period of materialism...but is still a prey to nightmare...which arises from the lack of any faith.” The theory of theosophy, which Kandinsky followed closely, supports this opinion, as do the views of the artists Alexei von Jawlensky and also Kandinsky’s philosophical writings in Concerning the Spiritual in Art. ‘In theosophy it was believed that all life is directed towards evolution, and the goal of art is to give expression to this principle... From Theosophy [he] also derived the idea that progress towards ultimate revelation comes through the balance and reconciliation of opposing forces and that this reconciliation may have to be achieved through the destruction of any principle or belief that is too dominant.’ (John Golding, 2000). Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy, saw religion and art as being on parallel paths and acknowledged that the aim of both was to exceed matter and form. Mondrian said in the...
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