Blog: Kandinsky and Rhythm

Christine Alfery

Posted on June 20 2017

Blog: Kandinsky and Rhythm

Wassily Kandinsky continued.
How to Be an Artist, According to Wassily Kandinsky

For the past three posts I have been making comments on an ARTSY EDITORIAL BY RACHEL LEBOWITZ JUN 12TH, 2017 7:07 PM. This is post 4 on “How to Be an Artist, According to Wassily Kandinsky.”

Lesson #4 Inject rhythm into your painting, like a musical score.

It makes sense that Kandinsky would link rhythm to his work. His lines and mark making are very gestural. And it makes sense that Kandinsky would say as he did in #1 that art expresses the inner world of the artist, and not artistic trends, and in #2 where he states that an artist should not paint things, but paint in abstract form. Kandinsky was an abstract expressionist.

Again though I return to the concept of the abstraction. A materialist would conclude that the concept of the abstraction or abstract art is a frill, an indulgence unrelated to reason or to man’s life in this world. Could this be Kandinsky’s abstraction? The spiritualist would agree to the materialists concept of abstraction but would also go off into parts unknown and non material. Many say Kandinsky was not interested in this concept of abstraction.

Kandinsky’s notion of abstraction and in turn abstract expressionism, I believe is how he lived and how he searched for freedom. A freedom not linked to some mystical notion that could not be seen, but in a metaphysical notion of what could be imagined, and explored and intertwined with what is worldly. Abstract Expressionism was Kandinsky’s way of talking, expressing how he understood freedom. It was filled with rhythm, and movement and color and self. For Kandinsky his art was ties to his need to survive, not physically, but his need to survive in his consciousness, in his mind.

The mind is conceptual, it is a consciousness which integrates with philosophical values, like ethics, and freedom and choice. To inject rhythm into his work, like a musical score was to inject as Kandinsky stated his inner world and the conceptual conscious choice to integrate it with reality and to integrate it with his own happiness. That is how I understand Kandinsky, that is how I understand his work, and that is how Kandinsky has influenced so much of what I do.

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