Tap to Read ➤

Wassily Kandinsky Art Quotations

Sonal Panse
Quotations by the Russian expressionist painter Wassily Kandinsky.
1. An empty canvas is a living wonder... far lovelier than certain pictures.
2. Painting took on a fabulous strength and splendor. And at the same time, unconsciously, the object was discredited as an indispensable element of the picture.
3. In every painting a whole is mysteriously enclosed, a whole life of tortures, doubts, of hours of enthusiasm and inspiration.
4. The more abstract is form, the more clear and direct its appeal.
5. Abstract art places a new world, which on the surface has nothing to do with 'reality,' next to the 'real' world.
6. There is no must in art because art is free.
7. The artist must have something to say, for mastery over form is not his goal but rather the adapting of form to its inner meaning.
8. Colors produce a corresponding spiritual vibration, and it is only as a step towards this spiritual vibration that the elementary physical impression is of importance.
9. Today is the great day of one of the revelations of this world. The interrelationships of these individual realms were illumined as by a flash of lightning; they burst unexpected, frightening, and joyous out of the darkness. Never were they so strongly tied together and never so sharply divided...
10. The artist must train not only his eye, but also his soul.
11. That is beautiful which is produced by the inner need, which springs from the soul.

12. The more frightening the world becomes ... the more art becomes abstract.
13. Of all the arts, abstract painting is the most difficult. It demands that you know how to draw well, that you have a heightened sensitivity for composition and for colors, and that you be a true poet. This last is essential.
14. The impact of the acute angle of a triangle on a circle produces an effect no less powerful than the finger of God touching the finger of Adam in Michelangelo.
15. I value those artists who embody the expression of their life.

16. The artist is not a 'Sunday child' for whom everything immediately succeeds. He does not have the right to live without duty. The task that is assigned to him is painful, it is a heavy cross for him to bear.
17. Color is the key. The eye is the hammer. The soul is the piano with its many chords. The artist is the hand that, by touching this or that key, sets the soul vibrating automatically.
18. The artist must be blind to distinctions between 'recognized' and 'unrecognized' conventions of form, deaf to the transitory teaching and demands of his particular age. He must watch only the trend of the inner need, and hearken to its words alone.
19. The true work of art is born from the 'artist': a mysterious, enigmatic, and mystical creation. It detaches itself from him, it acquires an autonomous life, becomes a personality, an independent subject, animated with a spiritual breath, the living subject of a real existence of being.
20. Objects damage pictures.
21. I do not want to paint music. I do not want to paint states of mind. I do not want to paint coloristically or uncoloristically. I do not want to alter, contest, or overthrow any single point in the harmony of the masterpieces of the past...
I do not want to show the future its true path. ... I want only to paint good, necessary, living pictures, which are experienced properly by at least a few viewers.
22. The solitary visionaries are despised or regarded as abnormal and eccentric.
23. Our minds, which are even now only just awakening after years of materialism, are infected with the despair of unbelief, of lack of purpose and ideal. The nightmare of materialism, which has turned the life of the universe into an evil, useless game, is not yet past.
24. I applied streaks and blobs of colors onto the canvas with a palette knife and I made them sing with all the intensity I could...
25. I was suddenly confronted by a picture of indescribable and incandescent loveliness. Bewildered I stopped; staring at it. The painting lacked all subject, depicted no identifiable object and was entirely composed of bright color-patches...
Finally I approached closer and, only then, recognized it for what it was- my own painting, standing on its side on the easel.