Wassiliy Kandinsky | 20 selected quotes

Wasily Kandinsky in his treatise “On the spiritual in art”, 1910, expresses his thoughts on the interconnection of the arts, on what the artist and the viewer should look like, on the importance of composition and color in painting. The quotes I have chosen from the treatise make you think about the topics above, that are still relevant today.

Disclaimer: These quotes were translated by me from the Russian source.

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Actually, the wrong picture is not that is “well written”, that is true in its values … or that is almost scientifically divided into “cold” and “warm” colors, but it is the picture that is well written and lives internally full life.

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Painting is a language that, in forms that only it possesses, tells our souls about its daily bread; and this daily bread can in this case be given to the soul only by this and in no other way.

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The artist is a “tsar” not only because his power is great, but because his duties are also great.

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It is beautiful that it is internally beautiful .

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Lonely, hungry and having the ability to see people are ridiculed or considered mentally abnormal.

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The theory is a light that illuminates the crystallized forms of yesterday and the day before yesterday.

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The word is an inner sound.

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Only the usual objects act on a moderately impressionable person completely superficially. But if we see them for the first time, they immediately make a deep impression on us: like the child is worried about the world for whom each subject is new.

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An artist is a hand, which by means of this or that key expediently brings its soul into vibration.

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In art there is no this “must” – it is forever free. From this “must” art runs like a day from night.

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There is nothing absolute.

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All means are holy, if they are internally necessary.

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Since art affects feeling, it can only act through feeling.

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An artist who does not use his gifts is like a lazy slave.

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Looking for a personal, looking for a style (and, incidentally, for a national element) is not only – with all desire – unattainable, but also does not have the great importance that today is attributed to it.

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In art, theory never precedes practice, but vice versa.

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Creation on a purely spiritual basis is a long work, which first begins sufficiently blindly and randomly.

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Human, as a rule, does not like to dive into great depths, he willingly remains on the surface, since the latter requires less tension. Although “there is nothing deeper than what is superficial,” but this depth is the depth of the swamp.

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A simple, outwardly unmotivated movement conceals an inexhaustible, full of opportunities treasure.

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New principles also do not fall from the sky, but are in connection with the past and the future.


Source used in the russian language:

W. Kandinsky “Concerning the Spiritual in Art” (series “Great personalities”), 2016. — 160 с.

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