Tag Bauhaus

Art quote:: Kandinsky on the nightmare of materialism

‘Concerning the Spiritual In Art’ was published in 1911. In Kandinsky’s theory the artist is the leader capable of inspiring the mass to ascend and advance in the spiritual pyramid of humanity. A few great artists stand tall upon the pyramidion, but if the artist enters a decadent period, the soul will be dragged down to the bottom of the pyramid, where searches for external success pulls the soul in conflicting and destructive directions and silences the spiritual forces.

Viewers of a painting experience the artwork with their 5 senses, but according to Kandinsky, a work of art can also evoke a spiritual effect in which the colour touches the soul itself.

Quote from Introduction

“This all-important spark of inner life today is at present only a spark. 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; it holds the awakening soul still in its grip. Only a feeble light glimmers like a tiny star in a vast gulf of darkness. This feeble light is but a presentiment, and the soul, when it sees it, trembles in doubt whether the light is not a dream, and the gulf of darkness reality. This doubt, and the still harsh tyranny of the materialistic philosophy, divide our soul sharply from that of the Primitives. Our soul rings cracked when we seek to play upon it, as does a costly vase, long buried in the earth, which is found to have a flaw when it is dug up once more. For this reason, the Primitive phase, through which we are now passing, with its temporary similarity of form, can only be of short duration.”

Book available on Project Gutenberg here 

Art quote:: Gilda Williams on the beauty of artistic collaboration

“The reason the Gothic cathedral is so wonderful, is not the stained glass. It’s because it is a wonderful model of a community of artists. Everybody is working on their glass, their carvings, and their floors and it is what you see embodied in this building. He is not even interested in the Christianity and so forth; he is interested in this place for being a place where artisans can come and join and work. There are different varying levels; there is this good carving and the not so good; it doesn’t matter. If you’re an artist you can find a place there. Beautiful! Beautiful idea around the Gothic, which is of course the one that has sort of been shed today. And of course this is the symbol, the idea of Gothic, which made it beautiful to the Bauhaus, which is, I repeat, is lost.”

Excerpt from recorded talk Gilda Williams @ ICA ::::Gothic Art: Beyond Motif

Gilda Williams @ ICA ::::Gothic Art: Beyond Motif

Sunday , 12/6/11 , 5:00PM

This is a recording of part 1 of 3  in the panel discussion.

Quotes from introduction

“I am also interested in the art historical origins. Not so much really looking in dept in presenting here those theories, but I am interested in the idea that is gained from the art historical origins which the renaissance talked about; medieval architecture as Gothic, as being a cultural force that is out of one’s control. It is a cultural force that is forced upon you, that is inherited from the past and that you need to somehow cope with. “

“Just because no one is expecting it I think I’ll just take a few ideas around the Gothic. The Gothic is a really interesting word because it not only gains new meanings, but it loses others over history and there are some wonderful meanings that it has had in the past that are kind of fantastic. Of course the Gothic was really important for Bauhaus for example. Not the Gothic, the literary Gothic, the way we think of it now, but the idea of a Gothic cathedral is taken as a symbol for this new community of artisans for Ruskin, who is to this day, I think, one of the most interesting theorists surrounding the Gothic.

He said that what is interesting about the Gothic; the reason the Gothic cathedral is so wonderful, is not the stained glass. It’s because it is a wonderful model of a community of artists. Everybody is working on their glass, their carvings, and their floors and it is what you see embodied in this building. He is not even interested in the Christianity and so forth; he is interested in this place for being a place where artisans can come and join and work. There are different varying levels; there is this good carving and the not so good; it doesn’t matter. If you’re an artist you can find a place there. Beautiful! Beautiful idea around the Gothic, which is of course the one that has sort of been shed today. And of course this is the symbol, the idea of Gothic, which made it beautiful to the Bauhaus, which is, I repeat, is lost.”