Universalism

Collected Items 25.02.13

The virtue of Kandinsky’s theoretical work, the fact that it is not a dry intellectual construction but an organic and vital creation opening wide perspectives to the future, is due, in large part, to the personal qualities of the author. A free and independent spirit, he sought in a union of knowledge and concrete experience a new universalism embracing life in its entirety – daily existence, thought and feeling, the arts & the sciences – a universalism which he himself possessed to the highest degree. The spiritual life was for him an immanent reality, communicable by means of created signs (in the realm of the visual as well as of vocal language) by sounds and rhythms as well as colors, points, lines and surfaces. By means of these broad and deep conceptions of art Kandinsky tended toward a new conquest of the world. It was in this sense that he sought the essential spiritual basis of all phenomena, uniting in a creative harmony the infinitely tiny with the macrocosm. In like manner his paintings are always filled with mental vibrations, communion, meditation and ecstacies from which there well up gaiety, humour and dramatic passion. The liberation from all material causation created an irrational time and space wherein this world of spiritual forms soars aloft, and it does so in the very name of “that final unity of the human and the divine”, such as Kandinsky defined it.

Carola Giedion-Welcker, ‘Kandinsky the Theoretician’ in Wassily Kandinsky (Poligrafa: Barcelona, 2009) p. 63.

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