SOUND & COLOR
SOUND&COLOR | WORKS INSPIRED BY KANDINSKY
OCTOBER 6, 2017 - OCTOBER 28, 2017
Abstract art can be a painting or sculpture (including assemblage) that does not depict a person, place or thing in the natural world – even in an extremely distorted or exaggerated way. The theoretical foundation of abstraction, however, comes from Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky, who wrote and painted about art’s potential to evoke psychological, physical, and emotional responses. One of the very first painters producing work that could be considered “abstract,” he rejected the figure or recognizable object in favor of shapes, lines, and discordant colors in his work. He deployed color, line, shape, and texture to create a rhythmic visual experience that evoked an emotional response.
Music played an important role in the development of Kandinsky’s abstraction in no small part because he experienced a rare neurological phenomenon called synesthesia in which one sense, like hearing, concurrently triggers another sense, such as sight. People with synesthesia might smell something when they hear a sound, or see a shape when they eat a certain food. Kandinsky literally saw colors when he heard music, and heard music when he painted. For Kandinsky, color had the ability to put viewers in touch with their spiritual selves. He believed that yellow could disturb, while blue awakened the highest spiritual aspirations. Despite the importance of synesthesia to Kandinsky’s work, those artists who do not experience the condition can still find music and color to be inspirations, aesthetics, or artistic processes.