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by Josie Bounds

In Munrau-­‐Steffelsee   1908  we   can   see   how  Kandinsky  begins  to   strip  away  the  representational,  reducing  recognisable  elements  of   the  landscape.     Although  we  can  recognise  this   is  a  painting  of  the  

Cézanne’s continued  influence  on   negating  the  negative A   good   example   of   how   Cezanne   took   the   representation   of   a   landscape   and   distilled   it   down   to   what   he   saw   as   its   structural   abstract  elements  is  Mont  Sainte-­‐Victoire  1904.

Wassily Kandinsky  Munrau-­‐Steffelsee  1908   landscape,  the   colour   palette   Kandinsky   uses   here   shows   us   his   heightened   sense   of   colour,   where   he   is   beginning   to   push   the   boundaries.  The  colour   patches  give   the   picture   its   special   depth   and  perspective. 1. 2. 3. 4.

Paul Cezanne Mont Sainte-Victoire 1904.

Cezanne’s emotional   response  to  the  landscape  can   be   described   through  his  exaggerated  use  of  atmospheric   colour,  juggling  shapes   that   nature  gave   him,   assembling  them  on   the   canvas,  giving  the   painting  abstract  conformity. In   1911   for   Kandinsky  ‘a  general  interest  in  abstraction   was  being   reborn,  both  in  the  form  of  the  spiritual,  occultism,  spiritualism  and   the   “new”   Christianity,   Theosophy   and   religion   in   its   broadest   sense’.1   Through  the   lectures  and  teachings  of  Rudolf  Steiner   and   Madame   Blavatsky,  Kandinsky  sought   a  special   blending  between   Eastern   philosophies   with  Christianity.    The  merging  of  Eastern  and   Western   philosophy  for   Kandinsky  galvanised   ‘the  romanticism   of   his   vision’.2     Studying   non-­‐Western   religions,   for   example,   Buddhism,  Kandinsky   ‘searched   for   a  style   that   would   effectively   change   the   moral   and  ethical  climate’.  3   Like  other   intellectuals   of   the  late  19th  century  and  early  20th  century,  Kandinsky  interpreted   his   age   as   one   dominated   by   a   relentless   struggle   against   the   effects  of  industrialisation,  materialism  and  the  bourgeoisie. On   The   Spiritual   in   Art   Kandinsky   describes   his   pathway   in   the   development   of   his   art   through   three   categories,  ‘Impressions’   –   observation   of   the   world,   ‘Improvisation’   -­‐   a   spontaneous   expression  of  a  mood  or  feeling  and  ‘Compositions’  -­‐  inner   visions.   Through  the  images  below   we  can  see  Kandinsky  implementing  his   vision. The   landscape  and  imagery  from  Russian   fables  inspired  Kandinsky   early  on   in   his  career.     Following   a  move  to  Germany  in  the  early   twentieth  century,  we   can  trace  the  beginnings   of   a  new  style  in   Kandinsky’s   work.     Another   influence   through   The   De   Blaue   Reiter,   Kandinsky   begins   to   conceive   an   alternaove   pathway,   through   his   painongs   to   spiritual   reality.   Classical   music   also   influenced  Kandinsky;  we  can  see  how  he  included  large  areas  of   colour,  encouraging  and  somulaong  an  emooonal  response  in  the   viewer.   These   large   areas   of   colour   could   be   argued   as   Kandinsky’s   response   to   the   influence   of   classical   music.   In   abstracong   the  landscape,  ‘Kandinsky  felt   that  he  had  discovered   a  spiritual   reality,  which  was   more  powerful   for  not  being  oed  to   the  outside  world.’  4

Golding G   (2000)   Paths   to   the   Absolute   Mondrian,   Malevich,   Kandinsky,   Pollock,  Newman,  Rothko,  Still,  Thames  &  Hudson,  U.S.A.  Ibid. Tuchman   M   (1986)   The   Spiritual   in   Art:   Abstract   Painting   1890   –   1985,   Abbeville  Press,  New  York,  p.  201. Kandinsky   W   (2006)   Concerning   the   Spiritual   in   Art,   MFA   Publication,   Boston.

Find Josie  Bounds  at  Le  Studio,  79240  Le  Busseau

SHOW CASE EVENT KICKS OFF NEW CRAFT SKILLS CLUB A unique   showcase   of   craft   skills  kicks   off  at   Fenioux   (79160)  on   July  28th   from  11.00  to  16.00  hours. This  taster  launch  of  the  new   Café  Crafts  Club  highlights  a  wide  range  of  crafts  which  will  then  be   featured  at  informal  learning  sessions  during  the  winter  months. Hosted  at  the   Café  des  Belles  Fleurs,  Fenioux,  the  launch  features;   Découpage,   jewellery  and   beading,  working  with  wood,   painting   on   silk,  mosaics,  drawing  for   beginners,  painting,   scrap-­‐booking,   calligraphy,   stamping   and   flower   arranging. Cake   decorating,   stained   glass  techniques,   photography   plus   chocolate   decorating   are   also   planned   as   learning   sessions   to   be   held   every   third   Thursday   afternoon   from   September   2013   to   March   2014   inclusive. A  spokesperson   for   the  newly   formed   Café  Crafts   Club   explains:   “We  are  excited  about  this  new  concept  which  we  hope  will  inspire   people   to   take   up   new   interests   as   they  learn   new   skills   in   an   informal   and   friendly   environment.   We   are   all   enthusiastic   amateurs  who   will   also   learn  from  each  other  as  we  pass  on  our   own  skills  to  others.    Everyone  is  invited.” For  more  information  contact:  Freddie  Main  Tel:  05  49  09  29  11 Email:

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English language magazine for the French department of Deux-Sèvres