by Nina Baldwin

cloud catcher*dream maker*artist

"Art touches the is reaches out from the canvas and passes through the eyes of the viewer right into his heart where it can leave an imprint of beauty that can make the spirit sing."
Nina Baldwin ...

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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Kandinsky and His Theories on Abstract Art, Color and Music

Wassily Kandinsky was a deep thinker. He developed theories regarding art. He was fascinated by color as a child. In later life he pursued color psychology and symbolism.
It is said that on a trip to a region north of Moscow he was deeply touched by the decoration used on the outside of the houses and churches in the area. The shimmering colors gave him a surreal feeling as if he was entering a painting. He enjoyed the folk art of the region and their use of bright colors on a dark background, which is reflected in his earlier work.
Kandinsky believed that creating music was very much like creating a painting. "Music is the ultimate teacher." "Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammer, the soul is the piano with the strings."
Kandinsky was also spiritually influenced by Theosophy, a theory that postulates that creation is a geometrical progression, beginning with a single point, a descending series of circles, triangles and squares...this gave Kandinsky's artwork a feeling of hieroglyphics floating about in his geometric compositions.
In my reading, I can only begin to try to understand Kandinsky and his theories. I have read about his belief that pigments are pure color, of his desire to create vibration in the eyes of the viewers of his artwork and of his concern with creating a spiritual resonnance and communion in both artist and viewer. His theory, "Inner Necessity," speaks of his devotion to the spiritual...inner beauty, fervor of spirit, and deep spiritual desire...all central to his being and his art. His writings speak even more of his thoughts on art. They are quite lengthy, but are excellent reading if you want to further understand what made him tick!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Kandinsky, the Father of Abstract Art

Kandinsky is credited with painting the first abstract works. His love of color, and intensity of color is obvious, especially in his earlier landscapes, such as the bottom image above, "Winter Landscape" from 1909. (I'll get this blogging figured out someday! Until then, please pardon the placement!) I can see the impressionistic influence in this piece, can't you? The second (from the bottom) image is of a landscape that he painted in 1913, just 4 years later..I posted it so that you could see his artistic progression in a short time.
He started painting when he was 30 years old. He was a resident of either Germany or Russia over many years, but eventually decided to live out his life in France. He became a citizen in 1939.
While in Germany, Wassily taught at the Bauhaus School of Art, a school concerned with architecture, the use of plastics, industrial fabrication and manufacture. He worked there from 1922 to 1933, when it was closed by the Nazis. During this time his work became more angular and geometric as can be witnessed in the image included above at the top (location, location!). As you can see, Wassily used many different geometric shapes and lines, employing repetition, bright, more dominant colors and lots of energy contrasting with a softer more flowing background. In viewing this painting I am reminded that Kandinsky plotted his artwork almost as if it was a musical composition. Indeed he had a theory that painting a work was akin to composing music. The layout has a logical progression to it, which helps the eye of the viewer to move around the parts of the painting, finally taking in the whole composition.
Kandinsky was a deep thinker. He had theories about art. I will talk about those tomorrow... be continued...

Kandinsky's Formative Years

Wassily Kandinsky was born in put that in perspective, that's about the time of the end of the Civil War in the United States. He was born in Moscow, where his father was a tea merchant. His parents valued the arts, both being piano players, and so encouraged young Wassily to read and play music at an early age. Music would later become a main influence in his artwork, and perhaps in the way he saw the world.

As a young adult, Wassily enrolled at Moscow University where he chose to study law and economics. This is the time of his life when he also became fascinated with spirituality, which he would later draw upon in his art. While at the university studying law, art was more of a hobby.

An exhibition he attended in 1896 in Paris of Monet's impressionistic work startled Kandinsky. He couldn't get it out of his mind. It was the first time he had observed art that didn't exactly imitate the subject matter. It was art where the painting techniques, expression, style and colors had more importance than exactly replicating reality. It was art that portrayed a quality from the soul of the artist. Kandinsky was enchanted. be continued...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Kandinsky on Abstract Art

"The impossibility and, in art, the uselessness of attempting to copy an object exactly, the desire to give the object full
expression, are the impulses which drive the artist away from"literal" colouring to purely artistic aims…

The more an artist uses these
abstracted forms, the deeper and more confidently will he advance into the kingdom of the abstract. And after him will follow the gazer at his pictures, who also will have gradually acquired a greater familiarity with the language of that kingdom.

Must we then abandon utterly all material objects and paint solely in abstractions? The problem of harmonizing the appeal of the material and the non-material shows us the answer to this question. As every word spoken rouses an inner vibration, so likewise does every object represented. To deprive oneself of this possibility is to limit one's powers of expression. That is at any rate the case at present. But besides this answer to the question, there is another, and one which art can always employ to any question beginning with "must": There is no "must" in art,because art is free."

...Part II, About Painting, The Psychological Working of Color, by Wassily Kandinsky

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


In searching the internet for Kandinsky I came across something I thought was very interesting...results of an auction (of a couple of pieces of Kandinsky's work) which took place in 1999, at Sotheby's.
The website, "The City Review" (Carter B. Horsley, editor and publisher) was extremely interesting to say the least!! will take me a long time to take in all of the information it of structures in NYC plus notes on architecture, art auction results, massive links to anything and everything NYC including theatre, dance, old master's works, films and even a listing for "passion"! ...what more could you want??!! Check it out!

Wassily Kandinsky - "Color is a power which directly influences the soul"

This is the first in a series of quotes taken from Wassily Kandinsky's writings (which seem to be quite prolific!) speaking of color and its relationship to the soul. I will also be touching on his thoughts on abstract art in future postings."Generally speaking, colour is a power which directly influences the
soul. Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the
piano with many strings. The artist is the hand which plays, touching one
key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.
...Part II, About Painting, The Psychological Working of Color, by Wassily Kandinsky

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Color is a power which directly influences the soul...Wassily Kandinsky

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