It took me a long time to begin to understand abstract art.

Kandinsky’s 1910 watercolor, the first abstract painting.

Kandinsky says, “There are two kinds of people: those who content themselves with the inward experience of phenomena (including inner phenomena, among them the work of art); and those who seek to define this inner experience.”

I’m the classical sort, the type that seeks to define this inner experience.  Kandinsky aims to strip this need, to take away all recognizable objects and leave the viewer with unadulterated experience.


2 thoughts on “Kandinsky

    • If he did, he failed. ‘Inward experiences of phenomena’ are constructed out of definitions of inner experience, their temporary strengths and absolutely unavoidable failures. Kandinsky understood this and sought to perpetuate the evolution of our perceptive capacities by providing us with a MOMENTARY unadulterated experience- allowing those who are predisposed to define a chance to define something new, and provide a foundation for novel experiences of phenomena. His incorporation of the temporal into painting was purposeful; in his own words he sought to revive painting as a practice by bringing it closer to music. While he said there are two kinds of people, I don’t believe that someone who painted what he saw when he listened to music could possibly believe that any of us are only one or the other- these ‘types’ are only aspects of each of our personalities. He understood that the tension between experience and definition in each of us propels both science AND art. No paradigms need shifting- we only need to understand ourselves.

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