Wassily's Music Room
Homage to Wassily Kandinsky
11 x 14
Kandinsky Inspired Oil Painting
Painting with The Masters
Art within Art Series
I love painting with Kandinsky. His use of all the symbols
and brilliant primary colors and of course my favorite color
red is always fun for me.
I learned so much about Kandinsky with my research this time.
His favorite color was blue so I played on a lot of blue in this composition.
He also played the cello and the piano so I though it would be fun to turn
his ovals into music notes. The wall, floor and pillows are from
many symbols that her used is his paintings.
Kandinsky painted music! So wonderful. Read my research below
to learn some amazing things about this wonderful talented artist.
Commission projects welcome
“I applied streaks and blobs of color onto
the canvas with a
palette knife and I made them sing with all
the intensity I could...”
Russian-born artist Wassily Kandinsky is widely credited with making the world's first truly abstract paintings, but his artistic ambition went even further. He wanted to evoke sound through sight and create the painterly equivalent of a symphony that would stimulate not just the eyes but the ears as well. A new exhibition at Tate Modern, Kandinsky: Path to Abstraction, shows not only how he removed all recognisable subjects and objects from Western art around 1911, but how he achieved a new pictorial form of music.
"Wagner's Lohengrin, which had stirred Kandinsky to devote his life to art, had convinced him of the emotional powers of music. The performance conjured for him visions of a certain time in Moscow that he associated with specific colors and emotions. It inspired in him a sense of a fairy-tale hour of Moscow, which always remained the beloved city of his childhood. His recollection of the Wagner performance attests to how it had retrieved a vivid and complex network of emotions and memories from his past: "The violins, the deep tones of the basses, and especially the wind instruments at that time embodied for me all the power of that pre-nocturnal hour. I saw all my colors in my mind; they stood before my eyes. Wild, almost crazy lines were sketched in front of me. I did not dare use the expression that Wagnet had painted 'my hour' musically. It was at this special moment that Kandinsky realized the tremendous power that art could exert over the spectator and that painting could develop powers equivalent to those of music.
Kandinsky is believed to have had synaesthesia, a harmless condition that allows a person to appreciate sounds, colours or words with two or more senses simultaneously. In his case, colours and painted marks triggered particular sounds or musical notes and vice versa. The involuntary ability to hear colour, see music or even taste words results from an accidental cross-wiring in the brain that is found in one in 2,000 people, and in many more women than men.
Synaesthesia is a blend of the Greek words for together (syn) and sensation (aesthesis). The earliest recorded case comes from the Oxford academic and philosopher John Locke in 1690, who was bemused by "a studious blind man" claiming to experience the colour scarlet when he heard the sound of a trumpet.
The idea that music is linked to visual art goes back to ancient Greece, when Plato first talked of tone and harmony in relation to art. The spectrum of colours, like the language of musical notation, has long been arranged in stepped scales, so it is still unclear whether or not Beethoven, who called B minor the black key and D major the orange key, or Schubert, who saw E minor as "a maiden robed in white with a rose-red bow on her chest", were real synaesthetes.
There is still debate whether Kandinsky was himself a natural synaesthete, or merely experimenting with this confusion of senses in combination with the colour theories of Goethe, Schopenhauer and Rudolf Steiner, in order to further his vision for a new abstract art.
Sceptics have dismissed synaesthesia as nothing more than subjective invention, like a bad case of metaphor affliction - after all, anyone can feel blue, see red, eat a sharp cheese or wear a loud tie. Recently, however, a group of neuroscientists has been able to prove that synaesthetes do indeed "see" sound. A series of brain scans showed that, despite being blindfolded, synaesthetes showed "visual activity" in the brain when listening to sounds. Now all that is left is to find the gene that may be responsible.
Despite the lack of medical proof for Kandinsky's synaesthesia, the correlation between sound and colour was a lifelong preoccupation for the artist. He recalled hearing a strange hissing noise when mixing colours in his paintbox as a child, and later became an accomplished cello player, which he said represented one of the deepest blues of all instruments.
If Kandinsky had a favourite colour, it must have been blue: "The deeper the blue becomes, the more strongly it calls man towards the infinite, awakening in him a desire for the pure and, finally, for the supernatural… The brighter it becomes, the more it loses its sound, until it turns into silent stillness and becomes white."
After 1910, he split his work into three categories: Impressions, Improvisations and Compositions, often adding musical titles to individual pictures such as Fugue, Opposing Chords or Funeral March. He also conceived three synaesthetic plays combining the arts of painting, music, theatre and dance into Wagnerian total works of art or Gesamtkunstwerks, which were designed to unify all the senses.