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Concerning the Spiritual in Art

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  70,573 ratings  ·  255 reviews
A pioneering work in the movement to free art from its traditional bonds to material reality, this book is one of the most important documents in the history of modern art. Written by the famous nonobjective painter Wassily Kandinsky (1866–1944), it explains Kandinsky's own theory of painting and crystallizes the ideas that were influencing many other modern artists of the ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published June 1st 1977 by Dover Publications (first published 1912)
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Winston King The cover painting certainly is difficult to track down. The book omitted title and attribution (though we can assume it is a work by Kandinsky) in…moreThe cover painting certainly is difficult to track down. The book omitted title and attribution (though we can assume it is a work by Kandinsky) in its pages.

The painting is Kandinsky's "Improvisation 11" created in 1910. It currently resides in the Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg. It measures 38.4 × 41.9" (97.5 × 106.5 cm).(less)

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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  70,573 ratings  ·  255 reviews

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Über das Geistige in der Kunst = Concerning the spiritual in art, Wassily Kandinsky
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و دوم ماه دسامبر سال 1997 میلادی
عنوان: معنویت در هنر؛ نویسنده: واسیلی کاندینسکی؛ مترجم: اعظم نورالله خانی؛ تهران، رها، سنگ، 1375؛ در 155 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، اسرار دانش، 1379، شابک: ایکس - 964671952؛ چاپ چهارم 1387؛ شابک: 9789646719521؛ چاپ ششم 1392؛ موضوع: زیبایی شناسی - نقاشی - قرن 20 م
ا. شربیانی
Nov 13, 2008 rated it it was ok
What saves this book is superlative phrase-turning and humor, intended or otherwise. If you've ever been tempted to bronze your subjective aesthetic and mount it in the museum between philosophy and science, this will be there to remind you how nearly impossible it is to pull off. Kandinsky couldn't do it and neither can you. I mean he sets forth to launch a theory of color analogized to harmonics, but what really comes through is an abiding disdain for yellow, coupled with a love letter to blue ...more
Roy Lotz
Mar 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: artsy-fartsy
Theory is the lamp which sheds light on the petrified ideas of yesterday and of the more distant past.

The first time I saw a painting by Kandinsky was in the Guggenheim Museum. Back then, I really didn’t have much appreciation for visual art, least of all abstract paintings. Nevertheless, I remember being intrigued, and finally fascinated by his work. The way he was able to select forms reminiscent of, but not dependent on, real-life objects delighted my eye. Later, I saw a special exhibition
Luís C.
A wonderful essay both plain and in his writing of a philosophical and very strong reflexive reach. What are works of art, if not a genuine internal cry artists? In that sense they also speak to the audience, in many ways; color or form in painting, for example. It is interesting to compare these about Kandinsky in his works; personally I found that it brought to light a significant his paintings. Here he tries to restore its credentials to painting and the arts in general, reminding that they m ...more
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
I hit my artistic peak with my rendering of my uncle’s Conan the Barbarian upper arm tattoo (complete with blood splatter) when I was eight. Truly appreciating art always seemed like the province of finer souls. A secret protected on par with gypsy divination and Shamrock shakes. I guess I always thought art was beyond words. Kandinsky, in his brief book, proves otherwise. Incredibly lucid and articulate, Kandinsky leads the reader to move past an intellectual appreciation of art:
The spectator i
Reza Gharibi
Oct 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
کاندینسکی یک نقاش و نظریهپرداز هنری روس بود. از آنجا که او نخستین نقاشیهای مدرن اِنتزاعی را خلق کردهاست، یکی از معروفترین و اثرگذارترین هنرمندان سده بیستم بهشمار میآید. (ويكيپديا)

كتاب دو بخشه، بخش اول راجع به خود هنر و هنرمند ها صحبت ميكنه، بخش دوم يكم تخصصي وارد هنر نقاشي ميشه.
بخش اول جذابيتش برام بيشتر بود
مخصوصا سر فصل "جنش سه ضلعي" رو خيلي دوس داشتم.
كسايي كه به نقاشي علاقه مندن بخونن كتاب خوبيه
This was worth reading. Some of the language was a little flowery so I will probably read it again at some point. It makes some interesting points. I wish the art was in color and not black and white since he talks so much about the significance of color especially red. It was a fast read and interesting so it was worth my time to read this one.
Narjes Dorzade
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
از زیباترین کتاب ها در مورد هنر .
تمام این صفحات سرشار از جذبه در هنری انسانی ست .

ممنونم آقای " واسیلی کاندینسکی "
و البته مترجم درست ؛ اعظم نوراله خانی
To me, Kandinsky is the Kandinsky from the Bauhaus period, when his paintings were dominated by abstract compositions comprising lines, circles, triangles, and bold colours. Though Concerning the Spiritual in Art was written some ten years prior, the book may as well be about the explorations in artworks such as these.

Vassily Kandinsky, 1923 - Circles in a Circle

Part I of the book has one memorable idea: Kandinsky depicts the life of the spirit as a triangle, forever moving gently upwards, or rather, forever moved upwards by artists—the m
Hesam Bagheri
به طور خلاصه، تاثیر نیاز درونی و توسعه هنر، جلوه بیانی همواره در حال پیشرفت جاودانگی و ذهنیت بر حسب دوره های زمانی و عینیت است
چون ذهنیت همواره در حال تبادل بیان عینی امروز با بیان عینی آینده است، هرگونه گسترش بیشتر آزادی در استفاده از فرم بیرونی همانند فضیلی بزرگ مورد استقبال قرار می گیرد. در حال حاضر می توانیم بگوییم هنرمند تنها مادامی که در تماس با طبیعت باقی بماند می تواند از هر فرمی که بخواهد استفاده کند. ولی این محدودیت، مانند همه پیشینیانش، کاملا موقتی است. از نقطه نظر نیاز درونی نباید هیچ
Oct 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Picked this short treatise up used for cheap. Kandinsky has a lot of very interesting ideas about the relation of art and music and poetry, with some discussion of social status/interpersonal relationships (just a dash). He is a modernist through and through. The introduction is enough to get you excited to read it and I just love his description about what art is and ought to be. Dense and could be a better translation, I think. Takes some concentration to understand it all and follow the metap ...more
I'm finally getting around to reading Wassily Kandinsky's Concerning the Spiritual in Art. In it, the artist explains his plans for the ascent of spiritually fulfilling and expressive art that surpasses mere replication of natural form. This is not to say that Kandinsky is in favor of pure abstraction. He faults cubism as too intellectual and spiritually lacking, as opposed to inspired abstractions.
I most enjoyed his breakdown of color theory, setting antitheses of white and black (obvi), yellow
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
возможно, тут стоит сказать book, it's not you, it's me - я очень отвыкла от таких текстов за годы и годы бизнес-литературы и поп-фикшена. наверное. в последний раз я сталкивалась с такой манерой изложения в литературоведении (а значит, в универе). видно, что текст несовременный, и дело даже не в отсылках к скрябину или дебюсси как авангардистам, а еще и, например, в том, что синестезия принимается за особую духовность - явно из-за того, что не было тогда возможности обратиться к нейрофизиологии ...more
Beka Sukhitashvili
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian
ძალიან საინტერესო ნაშრომია, შთაბეჭდილებებით სავსე ვარ.

"ღია ლურჯი ფლეიტას ჰგავს, მუქი ჩელოს, კიდევ უფრო მუქი კონტრაბასის არაჩვეულებრივ ჟღერას; უფრო ღრმა, საზეიმო ფორმაში ლურჯის ჟღერადობა ორღანისას შეიძლება შევადაროთ".

"ხელოვნებაში თეორია არასდროს უსწრებს პრაქტიკას, არამედ პირიქით".

"არანაირი "უნდა" არ არსებობს ხელოვნებაში, რომელიც მუდამ თავისუფალია. ხელოვნება გაურბის "უნდას"-ს, როგორც დღე გაურბის ღამეს".

მოკლედ, ესეც წიგნის ჩემი მიმოხილვა:

Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
A professional artist/teacher friend of mine gave me a copy of Kandinsky's book at a recent workshop she was leading. Consider the long period of the 20th Century during which Kandinsky practiced what he preached as a "Spiritual Revolution" in art. Spiritual Revolution was a popular theme throughout the century. A Baha'i pamphlet with that title was published in the 1970's. Being an activist artist in that revolution now is as important as ever.
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Цвет - это клавиша; глаз - молоточек; душа - многострунный рояль. Художник - рука, которая посредством той или иной клавиши целесообразно приводит в вибрацию человеческую душу"

Очень интересно! Философский труд Кандинского о переходе искусства к абстрактному, где форма и цвет свободны от каких либо правил, и подчиняются только принципу внутренней необходимости. Особенно впечатлила глава о психологических свойствах цвета и о том, как эти свойства проявляются в различных формах и контекстах.
İzel Özdemircan
Resim sanatıyla ilgilenenler ve özellikle Kandinsky severler için bilgilendirici bir kitap. Yer yer sanat ve sanatçıyı da ele almış fakat asıl bahsedilen resim sanatı. Genel kültür için de okunabilir.
Michael Franklin
Feb 02, 2008 rated it liked it
kandinsky's respondeo ut the world of art, in his time, to the past, and for the future of art is widely considered one of the greatest documents on art by an artist. sure, i'll accept that. however, i believe this is more of an assault on the condition of the human spirit than a treatise on the state of art.

kandinsky reiterates, many times, his disgust for the broad acceptance of and reverence towards "stagnate art". as an artist himself, he is quite aware of the vast differences between what t
Jan 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-arts, nonfiction
While I’m not a fan of Kandinsky’s abstract paintings, I find his theoretical writings all the more interesting, and it is perhaps these that are his major contribution. In the first part of the book he writes about the historical movement of art as a pyramid, where the apex represent the forerunners – those who will be understood and accepted only at at a later time:

“The life of the spirit may be fairly represented in diagram as a large acute-angled triangle divided horizontally into unequal pa
Jun 08, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had high hopes but was disappointed in how boring and un-moving this book was. I have never been a huge Kandinsky fan, but as an art lover, appreciate his work. I keep moving from chapter to chapter, waiting to be inspired... but nothing. Boo!
Heba Tariq
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
ان يفيض النور فى الظلام الذى يغرق قلوب البشر , هذه هى مسئولية الفنان و واجبه
Apr 11, 2012 rated it liked it
In some ways I enjoyed the two rather lengthy introductions to the book (not by Kandinsky himself) -- which put his career and ideas in a historical perspective -- more than the book itself. I read the following review from an Amazon reader. I agree with most of it, and he brings out some of the more important points Kandinsky offers in his book. I especially like this insight from the reviewer: "His spirituality is not an incarnational one, where the Spirit interpenetrates and quickens matter, ...more
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This little book collects Kandinsky’s thoughts on how art can raise itself and humanity onto another plane. Some of his ideas can be readily disproved by modern science and he directly contradicts himself a couple times, but much of this are more personal theories, based on how he feels about his own art and its connection to music. This is a great read for anyone who likes Kandinsky’s art and wants to hear more about his thought process.
Yana Milenkova
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Kandinsky is not only a painter, but also an accomplished and logical writer. He obviously was influenced by German idealistic philosophy, adhered to the position of antipositivism. It’s interesting to observe how problems of religion and occultism were at the center of his attention and reflected on his theory of art.
Chiara Bressan
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arte
"Il colore è il tasto. L'occhio è il martelletto. L'anima è un pianoforte con molte corde. L'artista è la mano che, toccando questo o quel tasto, fa vibrare l'anima."
I'll have to ruminate on the message of this book more in order to write down a proper review and rate this tome. A re-read or two are most likely in order withal.

Damián González
Una lástima pero no. Se me hizo difícil, tuve que releer muchas partes, me pareció demasiado rebuscado. Le reconozco que fue un libro que rompió paradigmas en su época. Para peor al final se reproducen obras que, en esta edición, tiene una calidad de impresión pésima.

Prefiero quedarme con los cuadros de Kandinsky!
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
I read this as an e-book. I think I would have liked it better in physical form. Maybe I will reread it someday in a hard copy and see if it is the case.
Nov 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book. Kandinsky's ideas on art and its ultimate goal are nothing short of inspirational.
No matter what area of art you enjoy, whether it be music, painting or even writing; this book is completely relevant. He is an artist who is completely "in tune" with all aspects of creativity. His way of explaining, though quite poetic and grandoise at times, is very clear to read and understand. He's not just a great painter, but a captivating writer who really has a way with words. Th
P. Timothy
Jun 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read this in anticipation of possibly leading a class on Spirituality and Art...and as a primer of sorts on the early thoughts about the connection between Spirituality and the Arts, especially connected with Modern art into abstraction. Some of his thoughts are brilliian and prescient; some really are parallel to Dewey, James and the like philosophers, along with Dr. Albert Barnes, and some of it comes off as purely bunkish guesses...but that is the issue with ground-breaking writing and thou ...more
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Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky was a Russian painter, and Art theorist. He is credited with painting the first modern abstract works.
Born in Moscow, Kandinsky spent his childhood in Odessa. He enrolled at the University of Moscow and chose to study law and economics. Quite successful in his profession—he was offered a professorship (chair of Roman Law) at the University of Dorpat—he started painti
“Colour is a power which directly influences the soul.” 118 likes
“Color directly influences the soul. Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another purposively, to cause vibrations in the soul.” 42 likes
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