Read Kandinsky by Hajo Düchting Online


Abstract beginnings: A pivotal portfolio in the history of art Over the course of his artistic career, Wassily Kandinsky (1866 1944)transformed not only his own style, but the course of art history. From early figurative and landscape painting, he went on to pioneer aspiritual, emotive, rhythmic use of color and lineand is today credited with creatingthe first purely abstrAbstract beginnings: A pivotal portfolio in the history of art Over the course of his artistic career, Wassily Kandinsky (1866 1944)transformed not only his own style, but the course of art history. From early figurative and landscape painting, he went on to pioneer aspiritual, emotive, rhythmic use of color and lineand is today credited with creatingthe first purely abstract work.As much a teacher and theorist as he was a practicing artist, Kandinsky's interests in music, theater, poetry, philosophy, ethnology, myth, and the occult, were all essential components to his painting and engraving. He was involved with both the influentialBlaue ReiterandBauhausgroups and left a legacy not only of dazzling visual work, but also of highly influential treatises such asConcerning the Spiritual In Art. Key tenets included theconnections between painting, musicand mystical experience, and the purification of art away from material realism and towards anemotional expression, condensed in particular by color.This book presents key Kandinsky works to introduce his repertoire of vivid colors, forms, and feelings. Tracing the artist's radical stylistic development, it shows how one painter's progression paved the way for generations of abstract expression to come. About the Series: Each book in TASCHEN s Basic Art series features: a detailed chronological summary of the life and oeuvre of the artist, covering his or her cultural and historical importance a concise biography approximately 100 illustrations with explanatory captions "...

Title : Kandinsky
Author :
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ISBN : 9783836507462
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 96 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Kandinsky Reviews

  • Forrest
    2019-03-19 03:58

    A lavishly-illustrated, easily-digested account of Kandinsky's career and the careful thought he put behind his paintings. Kandinsky is portrayed here as an emotionally-honest artist who worked with great focus and intent. His works were in no way haphazard, but carefully calculated in their design, the thought behind them, and the emotional effect that Kandinsky hoped to achieve.I was surprised that Kandinsky was a sort of early existentialist, particularly in his feeling that the soul of man was doomed to mediocrity and abasement, so long as materialism held sway over society. One might have viewed him as a happy Marxist, except that he really wasn't. In fact, he was careful to avoid being caught up in the sweeping changes that took place in his home country of Russia. For example, he refused to be subsumed in the tide of Social Realist art embraced by so many Russian artists during the early 1920's. He felt strongly enough about it that he left Russia (again - he had spent several years in Munich during his early career before returning to his motherland around the outbreak of The Great War) to move to Germany during the interwar years. Later, he moved to France only to witness the German occupation and hear of the destruction (back in Germany) of several of his paintings, which were considered decadent by the Nazi regime.And somehow, amidst all of this, he and his art survived. Perhaps there was something to his strong feelings of spirituality that upheld him during these tumultuous years, where the world seemed to be falling to pieces all around him. Early in his career, he espoused spiritualism and even based his long essay "Concerning the Spiritual in Art" on "The Third Revelation," a twelfth-century occult text by Joachim von Fiore. In fact, Kandinsky and several of his early contemporaries felt that abstract art was the herald of a new age which would be ushered in by the artists who "led" society to greater heights of well-being, though they were, naturally, misunderstood prophets at the time.Here again, Taschen has produced an inexpensive, erudite analysis of the artist and his work. Should you have a favorite artist, or are simply curious about a particular artist's work, you'll be hard-pressed to find such excellent texts as Taschen has produced. They are truly marvelous. I've always liked Kandinsky's art, but now I can much more fully appreciate it, both viscerally and intellectually. Think Kandinsky was a scheister? I dare you to read this work and continue to hold onto your mistaken belief. Look, read, and learn. After all, isn't that at least a part of why we read?

  • Dr. Carl Ludwig Dorsch
    2019-02-22 08:10

    The Vasily Kandinsky I seemed to have had in mind before viewing this summer’s (2014) Milwaukee Art Museum Kandinsky retrospective (prepared in concert with the Musée National d'Art Moderne of the Centre Pompidou Paris) was, apparently, largely the Kandinsky of the 20th century’s teens: to my mind confusing, messy – even perhaps naïve, I imagined – but always, it seemed to me, obstinately provocative. His monumental (2 x 3 meter) 1913 Composition VII might do as an example:That exhibition broadened my view, as a substantial retrospective should, and also fueled my curiosity. Thus I came to Hajo Düchting’s Wasily Kandinsky, A Revolution in Painting. Düchting’s volume likewise broadened my view, though perhaps, I fear, too much.The book itself is slim, well made and well printed, the text and plates probably appropriate as a brief, appreciative, and orderly introduction, and though at times I read Düchting’s analyses and enthusiasms as exaggerated, I have no great argument with it.My argument, as it is, is with – with knowledge, I suppose, or what might pass for it.Where once a given drawing or painting of Kandinsky’s might have elicited in me a confused provocation: “What is this? Why is this here (in this museum, collection, book)? What is this mix of discomfort and fascination it seems to produce? What justifies this as ‘art’? What are these hints of person here, what is the authority of this ‘style’?,” etc., now I have been tutored to respond to the prompts of biography, of Kandinsky’s own testimony, of German, French, and Russian art history, of proposed decodings of what had previously been completely obscure iconography.Are these new questions – questions about the relation of a particular piece to the artist’s Theosophy, to his published color theory, to his responses to Orphism or Constructivism, to Dada or the Surrealists, to Miro and Klee, to his alleged propensity to insert into his work symbolic variations of boats, solar disks, knights or dragons, to his claimed grammar of line, angle and stroke – are these new questions more valuable or interesting than the ones they replaced? Somehow they seem not; they seem relatively trivial compared to the previous set, smaller and less significant.Thankfully, I suppose, I will forget the majority of Düchting’s elucidations, along with what I’ve learned of Kandinsky’s biography and beliefs, and be returned, more-or-less, to my previous ignorance and its musings – even as the whole experience only serves to remind me how much even that previous ignorance (and its question set) was – by my own historical necessity – already similarly well polluted by the scum of knowledge so-called. You suggest I might retain both curiosities, both attitudes, the one informing the other? Perhaps I am too simple. In his Essay on Criticism Pope famously suggested that a little learning was a dangerous thing. True ignorance and true knowledge being beyond us all, I suppose that in the netherworld available we choose that poison which we will.

  • Gisela
    2019-02-27 03:49

    What a fabulous little book! The quality of the reproductions is fantastic, and Duchting gave me just the right amount of information about Kandinsky's life and art to give me a sense of whether I want to go deeper. The answer is "yes, but not now". I picked up this book because the cover leapt out at me when I was browsing the Recommended shelf of my local library. And the beautiful colours and designs of Kandinsky made a refreshing change for my brain and eyes from my usual diet of memoir, literary fiction and mind-body reads. Might do this more often. I see that Duchting has produced similar volumes on other artists whose work has always attracted me.

  • Ugh
    2019-03-06 02:54

    This is a pretty lavish publication for its cost, containing lots of high-quality colour reproductions of some of Kandinsky's most important works and a large amount of accompanying text. The problem for me was that although the book delivers in terms of bestowing factual details of Kandinsky's life and work, and in terms of explaining his overall philosophy of art, for a complete art novice such as myself it largely failed to explain what was so important about both his individual paintings and his body of work as a whole, or why Kandinsky is so much better known today than many of his contemporaries. Plus I found the author's language to be a little flowery in places, sometimes to the point that I had no idea what he was trying to express. And occasionally the analysis seemed to be little more than a description of what was plainly visible to the lay observer. As an introduction to the artist, it failed somewhat to convince me that I should delve deeper.

  • Bernie
    2019-03-12 07:08

    A feast for the eyes, very colourfull and a nice little book as an introduction to the artist at an affordable price.

  • Ronan Mcdonnell
    2019-03-04 04:56

    I'm not sure having read the book that I would feel comfortable explaining the genesis of Kandinsky's art, how he arrived at it or what he took it to mean. Other than to say the book introduces it as synaethestic, he ultimately teaches himself to respond to the world by producing pictures that move like music.And that's good enough.

  • Dylan Groves
    2019-03-21 10:03

    hates on composition 8 and the shift to hard edges.

  • Hasan Makhzoum
    2019-02-24 06:49

    I admired Kandinsky since the first time I saw his painting Jaune-Rouge-Bleu among the permanent collection of Centre Pompidou.. 8 years later, I attended the huge event Centre Pompidou retrospective of Kandinsky's works in Paris in 2009 ( ).. My friend and I followed (well, actually we stalked) among the crowd at the exhibition a random visitor after that we've heard him talking about his PhD thesis on Kandinsky. I learned a lot after listening to him explaining eloquently to his friends the perspectives of the interweaving and juxtaposed abstract geometric forms, how to spot the constant patterns as major guidelines in order to decipher their significance, and the symbolism of his colours.. My friend was pregnant and left me to sit down and take some rest at the cafeteria.. I have stand around 25 minutes contemplating real closely the mesmerizing Composition VII, with Pink Floyd music played in my earphones.. An old woman was standing close to me, completely hypnotized by the painting..[ ].. It was like a recreation with paint of the chaotic universe after the Big Bang.If you generally find abstract art to be obtuse and looking for arguments around this subject, this book won't really bring elaborated answers to classic questions and critiques around the modern art, like the figurative Vs the abstract (expressionism) art debate, but the book is excellent for the novices as a clear and an easy account of Kandinsky's artistic heritage, moreover beautifully illustrated with most of his works. But to explore Kandinsky's creativity and concepts better, and to learn more about his views and perspectives on Art, more than just the stylistic characteristics and the different interpretations of his works, i recommend the writings of Kandinsky himself, such as his essays "Concerning the spiritual in Art" and "Point and line to plane". * Audio version of "Concerning the spiritual in Art":

  • Michelle
    2019-02-22 03:00

    Wassily Kandinsky: 1866-1944 a Revolution in Painting is one of Taschen's. After reading Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Kandinsky, I liked to get a little more background on him. After finishing Duechting's book, I was more surprised than ever that my 20th century art classes barely covered Kandinsky. He was on the forefront of abstraction and befriended and overlapped with artistic movements such as Fauvism, Cubism, Surrealism, Futurism, and was an instructor at the Bauhaus, but was barely a blip on the radar in my art and art history courses.I was also surprised that as long as I was aware of Kandinsky and his art, I've basically been looking at the same five images in textbooks all this time. Taschen has collected a great number of works from Kandinsky's catalogue. Early representational works, his well-known abstractions, Klee-influenced works from his Bauhaus period onward, and Miro-influenced work from his time in Paris after the end of Bauhaus are all covered. Another gorgeous book from Taschen, and the text is clear and concise, if a bit cursory.

  • Liz
    2019-03-12 10:56

    This book is only 96 pages long, and is full of colored illustrations of Kandinsky's work. The author covers his life from birth to death by hitting the high points of his artistic endeavors. The descriptive vocabulary is as artistic as Kandinsky's paintings.The author follows Kandinsky's life through his years in Moscow to Munich to his breakthrough in the abstract as a member of Der Blaue Reiters. Then takes you through Kandinsky's work at the Bauhaus, and his experiments in biomorphic abstraction in Paris. In the end, Kandinsky was more and more convinced of his "inner world". A visual world where abstraction was not an end in itself but meant to emerge as a desire for substance and life. Expressive colors and geometric forms were meant to express the emergence of new life from the chaotic world he lived in.

  • Bandit
    2019-03-19 06:04

    Excellent volume on one of my favorite artists. I wish there were more prints included, but the ones available were amazing, great selection. Really captures Kandinsky's artistic journey as he matures into the great abstract genius. Also provided adequate biographical info. This is all good, considering it's a small volume, just under 100 pages. I was surprised to learn that he wasn't as appreciated during his time as he should have been, but I appreciated the fact that he stayed loyal to his vision and didn't compromise his artistic integrity. This would be a great book to own, Kandinsky's art is so magical to look at, there is so much going on, his use of colors is phenomenal and the juxtapositions of geometric and biomorphic figures against wildly otherwordly backgrounds creates for absolutely awesome visual experiences. Recommended.

  • Wessel van der Merwe
    2019-03-02 07:53

    The book is interesting because Kandinsky was an artist in Russia, Germany and France. He was regarded as historically avant-garde artist and experienced a struggle for acceptance and understanding. When Hitler and the Gestapo closed down the Bauhaus where he was a lecturer and also as a consequence eventually total rejection of his art he moved to France and had to start all over in showing his art in a new country and producing art with inferior materials. His art is difficult to understand and you either like it or you don't. I like his art. The author could however have spend a little more time on Kandinsky's personal life and a little less in explaning his art so that one can understand his art and his life for yourself. A good book and a must read for artists.

  • Sharon
    2019-03-10 05:10

    I read this book before going to an art exhibit of Kandinsky's work. It was a great introduction to his art and his philosophies about what art should be. Their were numerous high quality illustrations of his work. I did find it slightly annoying that pictures were not necessarily located on the page where the text mentioned them, often times several pages away, but otherwise, a great introduction.

  • Jennifer Boyce
    2019-03-16 08:57

    I picked this up at a museum in New York as a souvenir (at least one souvenir has to be a book, right?). I've always been fond of works by Kandinsky so it was interesting to learn more about his life and his artistic journey. The writing in the book was decent and there are many high-quality pictures of the paintings by Kandinsky throughout!I'm glad that I picked this book up… it'll be a good one to page through again!

  • Kael Moffat
    2019-03-23 09:10

    I've liked Kandinsky for quite a long time, but didn't know that much about him. Over Christmas, went with my family to the Norton Simon in Pasadena, CA and saw some of his works again and had to find out more. I have copy of The Spiritual in Art and have to find it again...I'm anxious to read it now.

  • Rachael
    2019-03-18 08:01

    Good overview of Kandinsky and his practice with numerous support images of works he created and movements he explored throughout his lifetime as an artist.

  • Margarita
    2019-03-01 10:08

    A good, comprehensive introduction to Kandinsky.

  • P
    2019-03-02 06:06

    I'm in love

  • Anu
    2019-03-08 03:49


  • Fred Kohn
    2019-03-19 06:55

    Beautiful reproductions that are well worth lingering over, and a good explanation of Kandinsky's life and artistic struggles.

  • Marcus
    2019-03-08 09:03

    Beautifully created book for a great price. Text has something for newcomers as well as the regular Kandinsky scholar.

  • Gayle
    2019-03-01 05:03

    While decently illustrated, the book is a bit out of date given recent exhibitions.