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1. Wassily Kandinsky: 1866-1944 a
2. Concerning the Spiritual in Art
3. Wassily Kandinsky: Concerning
4. Point and Line to Plane (Dover
5. Wassily Kandinsky 1866-1944: The
6. Kandinsky
7. Wassily Kandinsky (The Life &
8. Sounds
9. Kandinsky, Complete Writings on
10. Wassily Kandinsky 2004. Kunstkarten-Einsteck-Kalender.
11. Homage To Wassily Kandinsky Special
12. Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc,
13. Wassily Kandinsky und Gabriele
14. Josef Albers and Wassily Kandinsky:
15. Blaue Reiter Almanac, The
16. Kandinsky Compositions
17. Wassily Kandinsky And Gabriele
18. The art of spiritual harmony
19. Wassily Kandinsky (Modern Masters)
20. Concerning the Spiritual in Art

1. Wassily Kandinsky: 1866-1944 a Revolution in Painting (Basic Art)
by Hajo Duchting
Paperback: 95 Pages (1999-08-01)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$6.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3822859826
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), who later lived in Germany and France, is one of the pioneers of 20th-century art. Nowadays he is regarded as the founder of abstract art and is, moreover, the chief theoretician of this type of painting. Together with Franz Marc and others he founded the group of artists known as the "Blauer Reiter" in Munich. His art then freed itself more and more from the object, eventually culminating in the "First Abstract Watercolour" of 1910. In his theoretical writings Kandinsky repeatedly sought the proximity of music; and just as in music, where the individual notes constitute the medium whose effect stems from harmony and euphony, Kandinsky was aiming for a pure concord of colour through the interplay of various shades. Gauguin had demanded that everything "must be sacrificed to pure colours". Kandinsky was the first to realize this and thus to influence a whole range of artists.Amazon.com Review
Wassily Kandinsky, a Russian-born painter, became one of thefounders of 20th-century abstract art, ultimately moving toward thegeometric forms for which he is best known. Some of the more beautifulworks included in this title are Several Circles (1926),Hard But Soft (1927), and Graceful Ascent(1934). Readers looking for a good introduction to the works ofKandinsky will be delighted with this volume. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Kandinsky
Excellent Book! It is very informative and well written.The illustrations are great and give deep insight into the artist's life and work.Ordering from the purveyor through Amazon was a breeze as always!I recommend this title to anyone dabbling in art history or with a real interest in examining his marvelous paintings.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Book is Worth It!
This book has excellent images on Kandinsky's work beginning with his representational early works to his abstract later works.The color quality of the prints are good and the information is readable - to the point and not overwhelming like many art books can be.I only wish this book was bigger with more examples of his work....A good resource for art educators.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Master On Display
The word "visionary" is so often overused, but Wassily Kandinsky truly was one. Pick up this book and find out why!

4-0 out of 5 stars Must buy for any modern art lover
This book in few pages can describe Kandinsky so well. The style of Kandisky which reflected the developments and strides physics took in first 2 decades of century is shown in his love of planes and geometry. ... Read more

2. Concerning the Spiritual in Art
by Wassily Kandinsky
Paperback: 52 Pages (2010-03-07)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$18.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1153596865
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Subjects: Aesthetics; Painting; Art / Collections, Catalogs, Exhibitions; Art / Individual Artist; Art / Subjects ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Destroyer.
This book destroyed any notion I had as an artist about why I was doing what I was doing, which at the time was surrealism.Not every statment can be agreed with, but if this book is not loaded with quads of relative and relevant directions to a more complete and whole understanding of why one should make art in a more sincere method, then I am not writing this review.Too often over shadowed by the philosophical statements of Duchamp, this book, as much, revolutionized art.If you feel uncertain that the principals by which you make art are honest, read this book, then make your judgement.As did witnessing Ad Reinhardt's black canvases, this book recreated my spirit, unexpectedly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Time to call back the soul in art
[Please note - page numbers in this book and the references to Sadler's introuduction apply to the Dover edition, which is the best-seller on Amazon in the UK but is buried in the depths of the American Amazon at this link: Concerning the Spiritual in Art]

This is a fantastic short book. I am amazed I hadn't heard of it before. It only came to my attention recently when one of my students, Nic Green, used it as a basis for her essay at the Centre for Human Ecology: the student teaching the teacher.

Kandinsky, who was one of the founders of modern art, sets out to confront the crass materialism of his era and the trite art that it was producing. He understands "spirituality" as being the interiority of things, their inner source of meaning and life. He attacks artistic narcissism, saying, "This neglect of inner meanings, which is the life of colours, this vain squandering of artistic power is called 'art for art's sake'." (p. 3).

Consistent with his Russian Orthodox background, Kandinsky says, "We are seeking today for the road which is to lead us away from the outer to the inner basis. The spirit, like the body, can be strengthened and developed by frequent exercise. Just as the body, if neglected, grows weaker and finally impotent, so the spirit perishes if untended. And for this reason it is necessary for the artist to know the starting point for the exercise of his spirit. The starting point is the study of colour and its effects on men." (pp. 35-6).

And I love his honesty in a footnote where he says, of his colour schema, "These statements have no scientific basis, but are founded purely on spiritual experience." (p. 37). If only we saw more awareness in the world of the importance of not confusing categories of thought between scientific evidence and artistic perception.

To Kandinsky, Art's function is to reveal the spiritual. It "must learn from music that every harmony and every discord which springs from the inner spirit is beautiful, but that it is essential that they spring from the inner spirit and from that alone." (p. 51).

This has a social function, for "each period of culture produces an art of its own which can never be repeated". (p. 1) As such, "Painting is an art, and art is not vague production, transitory and isolated, but a power which must be directed to the improvement and refinement of the human soul." (p. 54).

Ultimately, "If the artist be priest of beauty", then she has "a triple responsibility to the non-artist: (1) He must repay the talent which he has; (2) his deeds, feelings, and thoughts, as those of every man, create a spiritual atmosphere which is either pure or poisonous. (3) These deeds and thoughts are materials for his creations, which themselves exercise influence on the spiritual atmosphere. The artist is not only as king, as Peladan says, because he has great power, but also because he has great duties." (pp. 54-55).

And the bottom line? "That is beautiful which is produced by the inner need, which springs from the soul." He concludes: "this property of the soul is the oil which facilitates the slow, scarcely visible but irresistable movement of [the human condition] onwards and upwards."

As will be apparent, this sense of spiritual progress may be modern thinking, but it is decidedly not postmodern. How strange, then, that Kandkindy is seen as a progenitor of "modern" art and its seamless, to my eye, drift into the incohate abstractions of postmodernity.

It is here that my criticism of Kandinsky takes effect. Kandinsky's mindset is, at the same time, premodern in its perception of the spiritual essence, but postmodern deconstructive in its artistic articulation. His spirituality is not an incarnational one, where the Spirit interpenetrates and quickens matter, but a dualistic one, where they can be separated or "abstracted". His purpose is laudable. It is to reveal the spiritual and make it visible anew "towards the close of our already dying epoch" (p. 47). But the problem is that he seeks to do this by abstraction, separation.

This takes us into a world that predicates the transcendent, but implicitly denigrates the immanent. Thus,"The more abstract is form, the more clear and direct its appeal. In any composition the material side may be more or less omitted in proportion as the forms used are more or less material, and for them substituted pure abstractions, or largely dematerialised objects. The more an artist uses these abstracted forms, the deeper and more confidently will he advance into the kingdom of the abstract." (p.32).

And for Kandinsky such abstraction becomes a crusading obsession: "Taking the work of Henri Rousseau as a starting point, I go on to prove that the new naturalism will not only be equivalent to but even identical with abstraction." (p. 52).

In his wonderful Introduction to the text, Michael Sadler suggests that this extreme abandonment of representation of the real world is why, "The question most generally asked about Kandinsky's art is: 'What is he trying to do?'" Saddler suggests, "this book will do something towards answering the question. But it will not do everything." (p. xviii). In contrast, he says, Cezanne "saw in a tree, a heap of apples, a human face, a group of bathing men or women, something more abiding than either photography or impressionist painting could present. He painted the 'treeness' of the tree.... But in everything he did he showed the architectural mind of the true Frenchman. His landscape studies were based on a profound sense of the structure of rocks and hills, and being structural, his art depends on reality.... The material of which his art was composed was drawn from the huge stores of actual nature." (p.xvii).

Where does all this leave us today, in 2010, 99 years after first publication of Kandinsky's little book in German?

When I look at the nihilism of Britart, or the sheer inability to draw and express beauty in what seems to be coming out of some of our contemporary art schools (the students tell me they are discouraged by their tutors from trying to express beauty!), then it is clear that abstraction has gone too far. Like postmodern deconstruction generally, it is all very well to deconstruct, but what about the grace of reconstruction? Kandinsky's aim to reveal the spiritual was laudable. That is the true meaning of the word "apocalypse" - to unveil and reveal that which has been hidden. But abstraction on its own and as the highest ideal is like pulling up a plant to see how the roots are growing. It causes disincarnation, which is another word for death, and so both the material and the spiritual wither.

The art that we need for these our troubled times needs to be an apocalyptic art of incarnation.It needs to reveal the spiritual, but not separate it off from the material world. This will be a new art of the sacred. And here is where we need a debate to start, and artistic action around that debate.

A resource that I would suggest is a book by the theologian Walter Wink,Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination - especially the Introduction on pp. 3 - 10.

Wink argues that we must reject the dualistic idea of Heaven being separate from Earth. We need what he calls an "integral worldview", what is also sometimes called an incarnational spirituality. Here Heaven and Earth are interfused in a single reality (Christians can read Luke 17:20-21; Hindus the Bhagavad Gita; Taoists the Tao te Ching, etc.).

And we need art, in the full artistic and theological senses of these words, to "magnify" and "illuminate" what incarnational spirituality looks like. To open the mind and the heart, and give fresh hope to the world.

Sadler's remarks on Cezanne are a pointer in this direction. Kandinsky's little book provides a crucial intellectual stepping stone. We have lived through a century of dying and dead "modern" art. We cannot go on like that. It is time to call back the soul.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great ebook!
Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Wassily Kandinsky. Published by MobileReference (mobi).

I love the way Kandinsky writes. It is so captivating. He is a very spiritual artist. He has helped me to see beauty in everything. Read the book, it is very good!

5-0 out of 5 stars Inciteful...
This book was purchased for a college research project and it was just perfect.It talks of Kandinsky's color theory and how music and color co-exist.The seller was professional and I got the book when it was promised. I would order from this seller again...definately!

5-0 out of 5 stars "to break the bonds which bind". . . "to an impoverishment of possibility"
Kandinsky had risen to positions of influence in other disciplines (political science/economics and law) before directing his considerable intellect to painting. His insights extended into the historic 'meta' trends of the arts and sciences, including the physical sciences, and had his interests been directed more to the history and philosophy of science instead of the history and philosophy of art, he might have written Kuhn's observations regarding paradigm change a half century before Kuhn did: "Here and there are people with eyes which can see, minds which can correlate. They say to themselves: 'If the science of the day before yesterday is rejected by the people of yesterday, and that of yesterday by us of today, is it not possible that what we call science now will be rejected by the men of tomorrow?' And the bravest of them answer, 'It is possible.'"

Instead, Kandinsky extended the frontiers of painting and authored philosophic writings on the future of art that are among the most important of such works. M.T.H. Sadler, who translated this work into English, was a friend of Kandinsky's and was among his early admirers. The notes he has written in the front of the book (Translator's Introduction) are therefore more helpful than could be the opinions of many other critics, including myself:

"Anyone who has studied Gauguin will be aware of the intense spiritual value of his work. The man is a preacher and a psychologist, universal by his very unorthodoxy, fundamental because he goes deeper than civilization. In his disciples this great element is wanting.

"Kandinsky has supplied the need. He is not only on the track of an art more purely spiritual than was conceived even by Gauguin, but he has achieved the final abandonment of all representative intention. In this way he combines in himself the spiritual and technical tendencies of one great branch of Post-Impressionism.

"The question most generally asked about Kandinsky's art is: 'What is he trying to do?' It is to be hoped that this book will do something towards answering the question. But it will not do everything. This--partly because it is impossible to put into words the whole of Kandinsky's ideal, partly because in his anxiety to state his case, to court criticism, the author has been tempted to formulate more than is wise. 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. He will not be able, with sincerity, to say that such a passage gave him such visual impressions, or such a harmony roused in him such emotions. The effect of music is too subtle for words. And the same with this painting of Kandinsky's. Speaking for myself, to stand in front of some of his drawings or pictures gives a keener and more spiritual pleasure than any other kind of painting. But I could not express in the least what gives the pleasure. Presumably the lines and colours have the same effect as harmony and rhythm in music have on the truly musical. That psychology comes in no one can deny."

Some aspects of Kandinsky's color theory are dubious, at best they cannot be universalized, and Kandinsky sees this. But other of his ideas and arguments are widely accepted among artists, even as being self-evident. Stating that "there is no 'must' in art, because art is free," that is, free to address external representations OR "the inner need," to merely chase after material 'objects' OR to wrestle with the mysteriously spiritual, to somehow meld the two visions OR to stay purely to exploration of the spiritual high ground, Kandinsky absolutely rejects the materialistic expectation of an art "explanation" that has been articulated by EO Wilson in his unfortunate daydream 'Consilience' (Wilson knows ants better than he knows humans, and is given to understanding humans to be essentially ant equivalents).

Anyone interested in art history, painting of the past century, or the relationships/correlations/divergences of the various arts (visual, musical, literary), as well as anyone interested in the meaning and purpose of art, or in the philosophy of aesthetics, should read this important book, perhaps more than once. ... Read more

3. Wassily Kandinsky: Concerning the Spiritual in Art
by Wassily Kandinsky
Paperback: 76 Pages (2010-06-11)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1453627421
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Editorial Review

Product Description
All art students are advised to read "Concerning the Spiritual in Art," a short masterpiece by Wassily Kandinsky. This classic best explains the concepts that lead to abstract painting in the modern era Kandinsky recognized the connection between music and painting. He also suggested that artists free themselves from the material world so that they can express their inner impulses. Thus the abstract painting requires contemplation to reveal its meaning. Furthermore, the meaning may be a projection of the inner life of the viewer as much as it is the inner life of the artists. This concept is not new to music but it certainly was new to painting in 1911. Once considered a radical idea, the spiritual aspect of abstract art is now a given in culture. Wassily Kandinsky offers some very insightful comments regarding his contemporaries, recognizing Matisse as the 20th century master of color and Picasso as the 20th century master of line. He faults them both, however, for not making the final step toward complete abandonment of the physical world. In "Concerning the Spiritual in Art," Kandinsky also asserts that imitative painting of other eras was a deadly trap for the artist, yet responding to the eternal call of the unconscious forces in an earlier period of art history was a valid area of exploration. Kandinsky believed that art progressed, that artistic concepts built on each other and that there was a triangle of artistic conception that moved forward to some end point, yet to be discovered. Kandinsky warns against pattern painting, which he thought would lead to monotony and away from spirituality. Every artist owes it to themselves to read "Concerning the Spiritual in Art." Though short, this book is the classic on which much art history, philosophy, and practice has been based. ... Read more

4. Point and Line to Plane (Dover Books on Art History)
by Wassily Kandinsky
Paperback: 192 Pages (1979-09-01)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$5.43
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0486238083
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In this famous work by a pioneer in the movement to free art from the bonds of tradition—a work long considered essential to understanding the evolution of 20th-century art—Kandinsky explores the role of the line, point and other key elements of non-objective painting. 127 illustrations.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

2-0 out of 5 stars Kind of pointless
I purchased this book a few years ago to gain some insight into the works of one of my favorite artists, Wassily Kandinsky. However, I was thoroughly disappointed to find nothing but vague references to intangible things like the "sounds of two lines", the "tension of a square", the "life of a line", the use of time in a painting, etc.

If you want to read a book about how to pretend to be a mad scientist while you think about painting, buy this book. Otherwise, just buy his wonderful paintings, and continue searching for something better.

5-0 out of 5 stars A manual of design philosophy for the serious artist or designer looking
This is a wonderful book for advanced students and practitioners of art and design.It was, along with Kandinsky's other book, "Concerning the Spiritual in Art", one of the greatest influences in the formation of my own personal vision.It is technical, not for the casual reader, but for those artists or designers looking to build more than just a pretty picture, to instill meaning in their art or design work, to advance their studies beyond the basics, it is essential reading.

2-0 out of 5 stars Has no pictures of artwork
I purchased this as a gift to someone who enjoys looking at kadinsky's works.
This book is all diagrams and geometric line drawings, complicated looking and written like a geometry lesson.

Im certain is a help to artists who are seeking this type of info but the description did not indicate what type of illustrations were inc'd very well.

I wanted to let anyone in my situation know its not pic's of artwork its technical specs only.

1-0 out of 5 stars Point and Line to Plane review
I got this book brand new and must say that it is poorly written and very hard to understand. This may be alright for individuals who are familiar with thier field, but if you are new to your field and just starting out I would not recommend this reading as it will only confuse you.

They do not describe subjects clearly and the wording is very dry. Our school recieved many complaints about it and as a result they discontinued the use of this book in the class room.

4-0 out of 5 stars About abstraction, or is it abstraction?
Kandinsky's goal seems admirable, to create a vocabulary in which abstract visual art can be discussed. That would allow a theory of abstraction to develop, with the promise that art would advance as its theory advanced. He argues his case well, he was trained as a lawyer after all, using analogy to that most abstract of arts: music.

He presents his thoughts in three sections following logical progression: point, line, and plane. As one would expect in discussing visual impression, Kandinsky acknowledges the mathematical point but generalizes it to isolated, self-contained marks of many kinds. Already, in the zero-dimensional world, Kandinsky begins his conceptual whirl: a point is not just a point, but a tension, a temporal presence, and even a sound - though I'm not convinced that this "sound" relates to audible impressons. The point even manifests as a period in punctuation. Its presence and position changes or erases a sentence's meaning; presumably, one is to infer that it has similar meaning in visual compostion.

Moving on to Line, Kandinsky crams a huge number of concepts onto the page: temperature, hue plus white and black, movement and force, angle, sound and triple sound, and even the duality of male/active vs. female/passive. Certainly there is much to discuss in all of these things, but the color, sound, and sex of a specific diagonal angle elude me. They are clear enough to Kandinsky, though, who announces these relations with absolute certainty and inevitability. His writing makes me think of mysteries revealed with papal infallibility, and with internal reason beyond human reasoning. Discussion of Plane drives even deeper into thickets of interlaced concept. I admit that I was never able to hack a clear path for myself through his conceptual undergrowth.

In the end, Kandinsky's vision remains a statement of his own inner experience - not of thinking that could be shared and pushed forward by other minds. Instead of showing the world how to think, he shows the world how he thinks. Although I'm no great fan of his art, that glimpse fascinates me, and is reason enough for reading and experiencing this remarkable text.

-- wiredweird ... Read more

5. Wassily Kandinsky 1866-1944: The Journey to Abstraction
by Ulrike Becks-Malorny
 Hardcover: 199 Pages (2003)
-- used & new: US$61.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0760748799
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Well-written text, high quality images
make this book a new treasure to me.It's very readable, and it speaks to exactly what interested me -- the personal aspects of Kandinsky's evolution to abstraction.There are LOTS of color plates, and their rendition is excellent.

5-0 out of 5 stars Kandinsky's Life and Art
This is a marvelous book in two respects. First, the discussion of Kandinsky's life and art is clear, authoritative withoutintrusive detail, and lively. Second, the color reproductions of Kandinsky's work are well-chosen and expertly reproduced; they are placed in the text in places proximate to the discussion of Kandinsky's changing approaches to art.I found it stunning that the publisher could pack so many color prints into such a compact book at a reasonable price.
Readers interested in Kandinsky's ground-breaking treatise, On the Spiritual in Art, will be grateful for the author's compelling, lucid presentation of its ideas.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lostworld
They have destroied everything , have redused to black square and havegone out... You can like Kandinsky or not.His mysteries reflect Russia ,epoch of silver century .You can feel the puls of time. Deep penetratingin one's heart of hearts,skill to see in fine its livng connect withepoch,with people,that all fascinate a notprejudice reader of this book. ... Read more

6. Kandinsky
by Vivian Endicott Barnett, Christian Derouet, Wassily Kandinsky
Hardcover: 320 Pages (2009-10-31)
list price: US$55.00 -- used & new: US$27.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 089207390X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
No other artist epitomizes the character of the Guggenheim Museum quite like Vasily Kandinsky, who is closely linked to the history of the museum and has been collected in depth in the permanent collection since its founding. Kandinsky accompanies the first full-scale retrospective of the artist's career to be exhibited in the United States since 1985, when the Guggenheim culminated its trio of groundbreaking exhibitions of the artist's life and work in Munich, Russia and Paris. This presentation of nearly 100 paintings brings together works from the three institutions that have the greatest concentration of Kandinsky's work in the world: the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and Stadtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich; as well as significant loans from private and public holdings. This traveling exhibition's final iteration at the Guggenheim Museum will investigate both Kandinsky's formal and conceptual contributions to the course of abstraction in the twentieth century, concentrating on his innovations in painting. Kandinsky traces the artist's vision through thematic motifs such as the horse and rider, mountainous landscapes, tumultuous seascapes, apocalyptic imagery and other religious subjects. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Spectacular book!
I was sad that I couldn't make it to the exhibit in NY. But when I saw this volume it practically brought tears to my eyes. How did I miss a chance to see SO MANY pieces collected in one museum. Well, at least I have this book. It's amazing.

4-0 out of 5 stars Smallish Page Size Overview of Kandinsky with Overly Repetitive Essays
"In transgressing and lying against the LORD,
And departing from our God,
Speaking oppression and revolt,
Conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood." -- Isaiah 59:13

Kandinsky's life is a fascinating study in political, social, and artist revolt within a spiritual context. There can be few parallels for his experiences and actions during the first half of the twentieth century. While I knew the outlines of those themes before reading the catalogue's essays, those factors are now burned into my consciousness in a way that allows me to see more in Kandinsky's work. That was the greatest gift of this book.

The second greatest benefit came in seeing so many of his works reproduced in mostly chronological order, making it easier to understand his geographical periods and subperiods within them (as he described them).

I admire whoever planned the catalogue for assigning so many essays from so many different perspectives. The combined effect is to cast light on many parts of Kandinsky's life and art that might otherwise have remained hidden in the shadows because the brilliant color of his triumphs eclipsed those aspects.

I particularly commend the extended, well illustrated chronology compiled by Annegret Hoberg. Well done!

The catalogue will also serve as a permanent reminder that I can always expect to see some wonderful Kandinsky paintings whenever I visit the Guggenheim in New York.

Alongside all that praise, I do have some constructive suggestions. I believe that the essays could have been either edited or coordinated in order to make them a lot less repetitive. A number of the authors appear to have been under the impression that no other sources of information would be in the book.

Naturally, when looking at an exhibition catalogue, especially for a major one like this, I would like as many plates as possible in the largest possible size. This book doesn't deliver as well as it might have in those dimensions. To keep the cost down, the page size is smaller than for a major show. Within the size that is presented here, many of the works are reproduced in quite small size. That's a major missed opportunity for the many works that display the kind of fine detail that would have made Miro proud.

Unless you are a Kandinsky scholar with many works already, I still commend this work for your purchase.

4-0 out of 5 stars Too Much Background, Not Enough on Specific Paintings
This is a decent book, with very good reproductions.

I made the mistake of concentrationg on the essays without really looking at the paintings before heading off to the Guggenheim, which is ninety miles away. I realized immediately that I was in trouble, especially with Kandinsky's abstract paintings. It was not a wasted trip because I knew that I needed to look closely at the individual paintings before returning to the Guggenheim.

I did look at every Kandinsky painting in the book, please note that only about thirty percent of the paintings are discussed in any detail. There is no discusion of the other paintings in the book. But, I know Kandinsky's work from years ago, so I was able to use my prior knowledge to understand most of the painting. My second visit to the Guggenheim was a success - a great success, but only because I figured out how to get the most out of this book.

The four stars are really for the quality of the reproductions. They are so good that, on a few occasions, the reproductions look better than the paintings.

1-0 out of 5 stars Poor Book Design
In what should have the ultimate Kandinsky book is instead a major let down. The book starts off great, the cover is a nice composition and the circles are actually die cut circles in the white cover to show the colored circles underneath. After that about 2/5 of the book is devoted to critical analysis of Kandinsky. I could have done without this part in exchange for more artwork. The book itself is small in size for an art book which is a problem considering the complex compositions of Kandinsky's paintings. Once you get to the plates there is, unfortunately, too much white space around the images. So you effectively get reproductions that are postcard size---much too small to really enjoy the artwork. Because of the small illustrations I'm giving this just 1 star. There aren't a lot of Kandinsky books so you don't have much choice out there. I ended up passing on this and give it a recommendation only for the die-hard Kandinsky collectors.

This is an all-inclusive catalogue (printed in Germany) of a major triple exhibition of 100 of Kandinsky's large oil paintings. Differing from Munich and Paris the Guggenheim opted for a small square format.Making this a much lighter, more easily handled tome than usual - and a perfect fit for Kandinsky's predominately squarish paintings.

As one would expect it has immaculate colour reproductions and extensive biographical essays by 3 leading Kandinsky authorities.All of which reinforces how fortuitous it was for both Samuel R Guggenheim and Kandinsky they formed a business relationship whereby his most forward-looking art left Europe for the New World.

Although the New York Times art critic wrote enthusiastically about the staging of this exhibition what one cannot accept is her initial remarks suggesting the Guggenheim has a tedius obligation to dust off its Kandinskys every 20 years to remind America there once was this austere Russian guy who invented Abstract Art.The implication being his work remains largely incomprehensible - except to a snooty clique who despise pretty sofa pictures.

I'll admit her comment "Kandinsky never met a diagonal he didn't like" was amusing and true.It also helps to refute her other statement "he never painted a perfect picture". If she's referring to a work of art where you cannot add or subtract one musical note or one element in a painting without ruining the entire composition this exhibition contains at least 2 of his many perfect paintings.

Namely "Composition 8" and "Three Sounds".The latter being one of his most ingenious compositions where despite not having one major diagonal line the central picture surface is being pulled vigourously to the 4 corners - one of which is empty! And what other artist could resolve a heavy red, black and purple circle in the upper corner of a horizontal canvas with a myriad of thin black lines and a few pale circles.

"Accent in Pink" is another winner. The entire picture held together by one small white circle in the botton left corner.Although much emphasis is placed on his theoretical and spiritual approach to colour, during his Bauhaus period I see a supremely confident happily-married genius whose hobby was setting himself impossible compositional challenges - and inevitably finding the (god-given) inspiration to come-up with mind-boggling solutions.

But when forced to return to Paris in 1933 it's undeniable his paintings became more whimsical and diffuse.Without the stimulating competitive atmosphere of the Bauhaus he retreated into his own world - one which even his staunchest supporters find less accessible.Nevertheless in 1935 he produced "Seccession".Not so much a painting as a lexicon.A discordant colour palette which 30 years later became the norm in the 60's Psychedelic Art era.Sadly, in virtual exile during the dark days of WW2, he could never have guessed his fame and influence would continue to grow unabated during the following 65 years. But neither would he be too pleased to know during this period not one major artist has emerged to fill his shoes.

To become more familiar with the beginning of Kandinsky's roller-coaster career I'd like to recommend a wonderful catalogue for an exhibition which never left Germany in 2009 "Kandinsky - The Complete Prints".Containing 100% accurate reproductions of every single print that left Kandinsky's hand . Most of them safely stored in Gabrielle Munter's cellar to be handed over to the Lenbachhaus in 1957.The culmination of an engrossing romantic saga.Requiring the purchase of at least 4 more Kandinsky books!

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7. Wassily Kandinsky (The Life & Work of...S.)
by Paul Flux
Paperback: 32 Pages (2003-05-29)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$2.80
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Asin: 0431092214
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This series provides pictures of the lives and works of some of the world's greatest artists and their influence on the world of art. Each title includes: reconstruction artwork of particular scenes from the artist's life; examples of the artist's work at various stages of their life with text to link their life and work; and the life story and photographs of the artist. This title focuses on the life and work of Wassily Kandinsky. ... Read more

8. Sounds
by Wassily Kandinsky
Paperback: 136 Pages (1981-09-10)
list price: US$26.00 -- used & new: US$14.64
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Asin: 0300026641
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Poems and woodcuts by the Russian painter portray in child-like images the constant transformations that shape our world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Rare and Wonderful Soundscape
There are and have been, of course, other poets who pay a heavy devotion to the aural aspects of their work in sacrifice of a literarily traceable constructed set of metaphor and message.Cummings comes immediately tomind.However, to my knowledge (and please write me if you can add any)there are none that create such a level of intrigue and pleasure so simplywith such mundane tools.Here Kandinsky shows us the incredible wealth ofmetaphor and depth in the utterly everyday.To so deftly focus ourinterest on small phrases, a "hello," a "goodbye," isvery difficult to achieve without appearing melodramatic and obvious. These are simple poems for thoughtful people. (As opposed, I suppose, tothoughtless poems for simpletons?) ... Read more

9. Kandinsky, Complete Writings on Art (The Documents of Twentieth Century Art)
by Wassily Kandinsky
 Hardcover: 924 Pages (1982-02)
list price: US$62.50
Isbn: 0805799508
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Of all the giants of twentieth-century art, Wassily Kandinsky (1866–1944) was the most prolific writer. Here, available for the first time in paperback, are all of Kandinsky's writings on art, newly translated into English. Editors Kenneth C. Lindsay and Peter Vergo have taken their translations directly from Kandinsky's original texts, and have included select interviews, lecture notes, and newly discovered items along with his more formal writings. The pieces range from one-page essays to the book-length treatises On the Spiritual in Art (1911) and Point and Line to Plane (1926), and are arranged in chronological order from 1901 to 1943. The poetry, good enough to stand on its literary merits, is presented with all the original accompanying illustrations. And the book's design follows Kandinsky's intentions, preserving the spirit of the original typography and layout.Kandinsky was nearly thirty before he bravely gave up an academic career in law for his true passion, painting. Though his art was marked by extraordinarily varied styles, Kandinsky sought a pure art throughout, one which would express the soul, or "inner necessity," of the artist. His uncompromising search for an art which would elicit a response to itself rather than to the object depicted resulted in the birth of nonobjective art—and in these writings, Kandinsky offered the first cogent explanation of his aims. His language was characterized by its desire for vivification, of the infusion of life into mundane things.Considered as a whole, Kandinsky’s writings exceed all expectations of what an artist should accomplish with words. Not only do his ideas and observations make us rethink the nature of art and the way it reflects the aspirations of his era, but they touch on matters vital to the situation of the human soul.
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Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
I left the recent exhibit at the Guggenheim pretty well confused as to how Kandinsky made his pictures work - especially the drawings & watercolors. They had a copy of this book in their reading room.When I got back home I found it on Amazon.I've been reading through this for about a month now.It's slow reading, but it may unlock the secrets of his complex compositions for me.His examples will provide the support for my studies for a long, long time.

Just remember that much of it is purely Kandinsky's opinions based on his Russian Orthodox religion.You will have to examine the passages on spirituality in terms of your own experience and decide for yourself how to project his pedagogue into your own work.

If you do non-representational art or are even at all interested in abstract art, you must read this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars excellent for the price
I'm learning a lot from reading Kandinsky and it is wonderful to have his writings all in one place.This version has publishing hiccups (some page repeats, distracting word spacing, occasionally blurry printing) but no deal breakers and for the price I paid (used) it's a good deal.Five stars for content, one or two stars for presentation.If you're fussy keep looking but do not overlook Kandinsky.

4-0 out of 5 stars Kandinsky, Complete Writings on Art
A densely translated book.A must have reference for any artist's library.

5-0 out of 5 stars An essential rendering of the artistic machinery.
This book deserves a commanding coign of vantage on the shelf of any reader desiring a deeper understanding of the creative process. In extending its reach beyond the requisite inclusion of Kandinsky's On the Spiritual in Art and Point and Line to Plane, the work embraces nearly 900 pages of life-giving insight by the master and driving force of nonobjective art.

To cast a light on any one Kandinsky commentary is to risk a plunge of the whole into shadow. We nevertheless salute in general the author's reflections on his fellow artists, for as Kandinsky finds characteristics to praise he provides a refreshing view of art's operating mechanisms. To select but a single example, in a charming commentary on the paintings of musician Arnold Schoenberg the author skewers the popular idea that an artist achieves full realization through a discovery of a "corresponding form" recognizable to all comers. In fact, it is the very discovery of what Kandinsky calls a "dying form" which is to the artist "fatal." As for the converse, the artist who produces an ever-changing series of works representing in their form the development of a more sensitive and robust inner soul discovers, ironically, his works condemned for a lack of stylistic conformance. And so, says Kandinsky, "the dead passes for the living, and vice versa." Schoenberg, the author assures us, is one of the living for in each of his disparate works "the inner desire of the artist speaks forth in a form appropriate to it."

If Kandinsky's control of the linguistic levers fails to rise to a degree of calibration one imagines appropriate to the vital topic, and if the author very often satisfies himself with the bold proposition which arrests the reader and inspires a healthy suspicion as to a deliberate reduction of the author's encircling vision, his conclusions are fired by a robust soul attuned to the finest strands of the real, and it only remains to add that in terms of abstraction this work must to the archway of understanding provide a requisite keystone.

5-0 out of 5 stars Modern Art: A Wealth of Primary Sources
This book is as thorough of a collection of writings by an individual as you will ever find.Including every major treatise, essay, and book by Kandisky, it goes a few steps further with every Kandisky poem (English and German translations) and play.Moreover, the book includes innumerable pamphlets and the like from the earlier late-Expressionist exhibits; also incorporated are several corrspondances between Kandinsky and contemporaries, particularly atonal composer Arnold Schoenburg--illuminating how each other's theories were mutually related and held a reciprocal influence.A little known fact, Schoenburg himself was a non-objective painter--photos of his works are among these pages, as well!Before each section is a contextual introduction to that particular writing.And much much more. ... Read more

10. Wassily Kandinsky 2004. Kunstkarten-Einsteck-Kalender.
Calendar: 12 Pages (2003-08-01)
-- used & new: US$13.37
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Asin: 3771710219
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11. Homage To Wassily Kandinsky Special Issue of the XX Siecle Review
by Jacques Lassaigne
 Hardcover: Pages (1975)
-- used & new: US$137.50
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Asin: 0814806341
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12. Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, Briefwechsel: Mit Briefen von und an Gabriele Munter und Maria Marc (German Edition)
by Wassily Kandinsky
 Hardcover: 327 Pages (1983)

Isbn: 3492028470
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13. Wassily Kandinsky und Gabriele Münter in Murnau und Kochel 1902 - 1914. Briefe und Erinnerungen.
by Annegret Hoberg
Hardcover: Pages (2000-12-01)

Isbn: 3791313487
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14. Josef Albers and Wassily Kandinsky: Friends in Exile: A Decade of Correspondence, 1929-1940
by Nicolas Fox Weber, Jessica Boissel
Paperback: 160 Pages (2010-06-16)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$14.23
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Asin: 1555953271
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--English language translation and revised edition in collaboration with The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and The Centre Pompidou --Correspondence between two of the Bauhaus movement's major figures Wassily Kandinsky and Josef Albers were colleagues at the Bauhaus school in Dessau, Germany. And after the institution was shut down in 1933, they shared a destiny as emigres--Kandinsky and his wife Nina in Paris, Albers and his wife, the weaver and teacher Anni Albers, in the U.S. Their correspondence, covering the period from 1929 to 1940, provides a unique perspective on this tumultuous period in history and in art. Despite the increasingly alarming political situation that serves as the backdrop for these letters, the tone of these exchanges born of a warm and serious friendship is surprisingly optimistic. ... Read more

15. Blaue Reiter Almanac, The
by Klaus Lankheit, Wassily Kandinsky
Paperback: 296 Pages (2005-11-15)
list price: US$22.50 -- used & new: US$12.99
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Asin: 0878467009
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider)--art movement was founded in 1911 by the young painters Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc, and was active in Europe until 1914. Originally published in Munich in 1912 and edited by Kandinsky and Marc-- the movements's almanac presented their synthesis of international culture to the European avant-garde at large. In both the selection of essays and its innovative interplay of word and image, The Blaue Reiter Almanac remains one of our most critically important works of literature on the art theory and culture of the 20th century. This edition, long unavailable in English and indispensable to any student of modernism, simulates the original German format, and includes documents, and musical notations, as well as seminal essays by Kandinsky, Schönberg, Marc, and others. Nearly 150 illustrations, from ancient and contemporary sources, capture the wide-ranging interests and passions that inspired Kandinsky's and Marc's programmatic attempt to make modernism accessible across national and chronological boundaries. Also included is Klaus Lankheit's extensive critical introduction, which places the Blaue Reiter in context for contemporary readers."The almanac remains unique among European writings on art; no other country produced a comparable work capturing the excitement and tension of the years before World War I." (Will Grohmann)Edited by Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc.Introduction by Klaus Lankheit.Hardcover, 5.75 x 8.25 in./296 pgs / 150 b&w. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Seminal 20th Century Art Document
The editors, Kandinsky and Marc, put together this manifesto before World War I.It's an essential document for understanding the artistic ferment in Germany, France and Russia in the early part of the 20th Century.

Marc died at Verdun in 1916; Kandinsky pursued a successful career, and died in Paris during World War II.Both men believed that artists were the spiritual leaders of the future--a belief that still reverberates today.

5-0 out of 5 stars A valuable scrutiny of the Blaue Reiterart movement
Originally published in Munich in 1912, and now available in English, The Blaue Reiter Almanac is a valuable scrutiny of the Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider) art movement, which was founded in 1911 by painters Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc and remained active in Europe until 1914. The Blaue Reiter Almanac combines an assembly of short essays with black-and-white reproductions of artwork to offer the reader a glimpse into the methodology, purpose, and essence of this short-lived yet passionate movement. An invaluable addition to modern art history shelves.
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16. Kandinsky Compositions
by Magdalena Dabrowski, Richard Oldenburg, Wassily Kandinsky
Hardcover: 128 Pages (2002-07-15)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$125.00
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Asin: 0870704052
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Vasily Kandinsky was among the international vanguard artists who experimented with abstraction in the early years of the 20th century. His most powerful and ambitious works were ten monumental canvases he titled Compositions: he painted the first seven in intense succession between 1909 and 1913, and the final three in 1923, 1936, and 1939. Each of these brilliant paintings and their studies explores the sensuous colorism that amateur and specialist alike find so appealing in his art. In the first study devoted to Kandinsky's Compositions as a series, the author unfolds the rich and powerful context of these eloquent images and reveals how their formal principles and iconographical imagery were of almost religious significance to Kandinsky. This book, for the first time,reproduces all ten of the Compositions, along with their studies in oil, watercolor, ink, and pencil. Three of the paintings, which were destroyed during World War II, are repesented through extant photographs.

Essay by Magdalena Dabrowski.
Foreword by Richard E. Oldenburg. ... Read more

17. Wassily Kandinsky And Gabriele Munter: Letters And Reminiscences, 1902-1914 (Pegasus Library)
by Annegret Hoberg
Paperback: 159 Pages (2005-09-30)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$3.09
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Asin: 3791334298
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One of the art world’s most poignant love stories comes to life in this fascinating book.

The tumultuous love affair between Wassily Kandinsky and Gabriele Münter is a story of happiness and pain, trust and betrayal, harmony and conflict, set against the backdrop of the revolutionary upheavals that attended the birth of Modernism. The fascinating story of their life in the Bavarian countryside, where they were a part of the Blue Rider group, and the underlying tensions that eventually drove them apart, is told in letters, diary entries and memoirs, and in superb reproductions of the artists’ finest paintings and sketches. This book traces the development of the couple's personal and artistic relationship from 1902 through 1914 when Kandinsky fled Germany and returned to his native Russia, before finally abandoning Münter in 1917. It shows how their relationship, though ill-fated, marked a hugely prolific period in the careers of both painters and the development of the German Expressionist movement. ... Read more

18. The art of spiritual harmony
by Wassily Kandinsky, Michael Sadleir
Paperback: 168 Pages (2010-08-23)
list price: US$21.75 -- used & new: US$16.05
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Asin: 1177658070
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Publisher: London : Constable and Company limitedPublication date: 1914Subjects: AestheticsPaintingNotes: This is an OCR reprint. There may be typos or missing text. There are no illustrations or indexes.When you buy the General Books edition of this book you get free trial access to Million-Books.com where you can select from more than a million books for free. You can also preview the book there. ... Read more

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5-0 out of 5 stars Kandinsky's Art of Spiritual Harmony

Got the book quickly, excellent condition, great book. ... Read more

19. Wassily Kandinsky (Modern Masters)
by Max Bill, Carola Giedion-Welcker, Wassily Kandinsky
Hardcover: 96 Pages (2009-07-31)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$15.45
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Asin: 8434312131
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As a painter and a teacher, and co-founder of the Blaue Reiter, the Russian-born artist Vasily Kandinsky has played a leading role in the unfolding of modern art. Greatly influenced by music-- "music is the ultimate teacher," he once averred--Kandinsky painted his first abstract compositions during his Bavarian period (1906-1914), and these riotously musical canvases, with their intense symphonies of color and wildly jostling forms, have influenced successive generations of abstract artists to the present day. The Swiss artist, designer and founder of Concrete art, Max Bill, whose excellent preface opens this perfect introduction to the world of Kandinsky, was a student at the Bauhaus during the artist's tenure there, and was the editor of the first edition of Kandinsky's collected writings. His inclusion in this volume adds a useful historical perspective, while Carola Giedion-Welcker contributes a concise essay on the artist. ... Read more

20. Concerning the Spiritual in Art - Kandinsky Wassily
by Kandinsky Wassily
Paperback: 36 Pages (2009-11-22)
list price: US$10.10
Isbn: 1449913849
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A passage from the book... It is no common thing to find an artist who, even if he be willing to try, is capable of expressing his aims and ideals with any clearness and moderation. Some people will say that any such capacity is a flaw in the perfect artist, who should find his expression in line and colour, and leave the multitude to grope its way unaided towards comprehension. This attitude is a relic of the days when "l'art pour l'art" was the latest battle cry; when eccentricity of manner and irregularity of life were more important than any talent to the would-be artist; when every one except oneself was bourgeois.The last few years have in some measure removed this absurdity, by destroying the old convention that it was middle-class to be sane, and that between the artist and the outer-world yawned a gulf which few could cross. 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. ... Read more

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5-0 out of 5 stars Concepts That Lead To Abstract Painting In The Modern Era.
Every artist owes it to themselves to read this short book on which so much art history, philosophy, and practice has been based. This book explains the concepts that lead to abstract painting in the modern era.

Originally published in 1911, Kandinsky compares the spiritual life of humanity to a large triangle similar to a pyramid; the artist has the task and the mission of leading others to the top by the exercise of his talent. The point of the triangle is constituted only by some individuals who bring the sublime bread to other people. It is a spiritual triangle which moves forwards and rises slowly, even if it sometimes remains immobile. During decadent periods, souls fall to the bottom of the Triangle and men only search for the external success and ignore purely spiritual forces.

When we look at colours on the painter's palette, a double effect happens: a purely physical effect on the eye, charmed by the beauty of colours firstly, which provokes a joyful impression as when we eat a delicacy. But this effect can be much deeper and causes an emotion and a vibration of the soul, or an inner resonance, which is a purely spiritual effect, by which the colour touches the soul itself.

The inner necessity is for Kandinsky the principle of the art and the foundation of forms and colours' harmony. He defines it as the principle of the efficient contact of the form with the human soul. Every form is the delimitation of a surface by another one; it possesses an inner content which is the effect it produces on the one who looks at it attentively. This inner necessity is the right of the artist to an unlimited freedom, but this freedom becomes a crime if it is not founded on such a necessity. The art work is born from the inner necessity of the artist in a mysterious, enigmatic and mystic way, and then it acquires an autonomous life; it becomes an independent subject animated by a spiritual breath.

The first obvious properties we can see when we look at isolated colour and let it act alone; it is on one side the warmth or the coldness of the coloured tone, and on the other side the clarity or the obscurity of the tone.

The warmth is a tendency to yellow, and the coldness is a tendency to blue. The yellow and the blue form the first big contrast, which is dynamic. The yellow possesses an eccentric movement and the blue a concentric movement; a yellow surface seems to get closer to us, while a blue surface seems to move away. The yellow is the typically terrestrial colour whose violence can be painful and aggressive. The blue is the typically celestial colour which evokes a deep calm. The mixing of blue with yellow gives the total immobility and the calm, the green.

Clarity is a tendency to the white and obscurity is a tendency to the black. The white and the black form the second big contrast, which is static. The white acts like a deep and absolute silence full of possibilities. The black is a nothingness without possibility, which is an eternal silence without hope, and corresponds to death. That's why any other colour resonates so strongly on its neighbors. The mixing of white with black leads to gray, which possesses no active force and whose affective tonality is near that of green. The gray corresponds to immobility without hope; it tends to despair when it becomes dark and regains little hope when it lightens.

The red is a warmth colour, very living, lively and agitated, it possesses an immense force, it is a movement in oneself. Mixed with black, it leads to brown which is a hard colour. Mixed with yellow, it gains in warmth and gives the orange which possesses an irradiating movement on the surroundings. When red is mixed with blue, it moves away from man to give the purple, which is cooled red. The red and the green form the third big contrast, while the orange and the purple form the fourth one. ... Read more

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