Kandinsky Publishes His Views on Abstraction in Art (Great Events from History II: Arts and Culture Series)
Article abstract: Wassily Kandinsky explained his theory of abstraction in art as a need to reject natural images to impress industrial, secular society with the coming of a new spiritual age.
Summary of Event
In various ways, the publication of Über das Geistige in der Kunst, insbesondere in der Malerei (1912; Concerning the Spiritual in Art, and Painting in Particular, 1912) was the culmination of Wassily Kandinsky’s personal and professional development. Trained as a lawyer in Moscow, where he was born, Kandinsky left that profession and his native land when he was thirty-one years of age. In 1897 he went to Munich, Germany, to take up studies in painting. Art Nouveau and the Jugendstil movement of craft artists attracted him with their stress on nonrepresentational art, but he found unsatisfying the decorative purpose of the art of those movements. He began to paint in the Fauvist style for exhibitions and to write about the theory of art. For several years, he wrote articles for Mir Iskusstva (World of Art) in St. Petersburg, Russia, from his home in Germany.
The most important influence upon his development was that of the German mystic, Rudolf Steiner, founder of a variant of Theosophy, which itself had been founded in 1875 by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and Henry Steel Olcott in America. This new religious movement as a whole suggested a hidden meaning within all...
(The entire section is 2243 words.)
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