Concerning the Spiritual in Art - Wassily Kandinsky

Penguin Classics

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Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Wassily Kandinsky, a new translation by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp / introduction by Lisa Florman / 148-page paperback from Penguin Classics / ISBN 9780241384800

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A seminal text in the history of modern art, from one of the most famous artists of the twentieth century

‘Art is the language that speaks to the soul’

Why do we make art? In Concerning the Spiritual in Art Wassily Kandinsky, one of the earliest and most famous abstract painters, argued against ‘art for art’s sake’. Exploring form and colour, spirituality and tradition, Kandinsky instead predicted a future for painting in its potential to redirect the attention of viewers away from the shallow materialism of the modern world toward the more profound intellectual and emotional concerns of their interior lives. His revolutionary work became a landmark in modern art history, helping to usher in the age of non-representational painting. This new translation also includes Kandinsky’s later essay, ‘The Question of Form’, in which he interrogates and sharpens many of his earlier ideas.

Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) was a Russian-born painter and art theorist. Regarded as a key pioneer of abstract art, he was a founding member of the artistic group Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider). He taught at the Bauhaus School of Art and Architecture in Germany until the mid-1930s, after which he settled in France.

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