Download Concerning the Spiritual—and the Concrete—in Kandinsky’s Art by Lisa Florman PDF

By Lisa Florman

This booklet examines the paintings and writings of Wassily Kandinsky, who's largely considered as one of many first artists to supply non-representational work. an important to an figuring out of Kandinsky's intentions is at the non secular in artwork, the distinguished essay he released in 1911. the place so much students have taken its repeated references to "spirit" as signaling quasi-religious or mystical matters, Florman argues in its place that Kandinsky's basic body of reference was once G.W.F. Hegel's Aesthetics, during which artwork had equally been awarded as a car for the constructing self-consciousness of spirit (or Geist, in German). as well as shut readings of Kandinsky's writings, the publication additionally features a dialogue of a 1936 essay at the artist's work written via his personal nephew, thinker Alexandre Kojève, the main Hegel student in France at the moment. It additionally presents distinct analyses of person work via Kandinsky, demonstrating how the advance of his oeuvre demanding situations Hegel's perspectives on glossy paintings, but operates in a lot an analogous demeanour as does Hegel's philosophical approach. throughout the paintings of a unmarried, the most important artist, Florman provides a thorough new account of why portray grew to become to abstraction within the early years of the 20 th century.

"Like such a lot readers, i've got regularly understood Kandinsky's place as an expressionist-romantic one (that conceives of the image as a portrait of the artist's internal self). Florman cogently demonstrates that we've got had all of it flawed and that Kandinsky's at the non secular in artwork is at once and profoundly indebted to the philosophy of Hegel. To my wisdom, this is often the 1st publication totally devoted to essentially the most vital artwork treatises of the 20 th century, and it patiently upturns virtually every thing we inspiration we knew approximately it."

—Yve-Alain Bois, Institute for enhance reviews

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But Zola’s condemnation of what escapes us recalls the manner in which he defends his effort to render details in sheer quantity. 30). This desire was not lost on his contemporaries, like Barbey d’Aurevilly, who in 1902 recalled with admiration Zola’s “pen that forgets nothing” (201). 329). In what amounts to a recontextualizing of Lockean epistemology, the experimenter receives data empirically once the experiment—the provoked observation—has been initiated. Critics who see this method as necessarily artificial have a valid point, in that Zola himself concedes that there is a provocation.

The immediate relationship between theory and praxis—or rather the belief that theoretical adjustments can equate to ultimately practical ones—reveals an understanding of epistemology fundamentally different to Sartre’s. In a very real sense, the basic differences between Sartre’s and Adorno’s views of knowledge are similar to the basic differences between Zola’s and Nietzsche’s views of knowledge. They are similar as well to the basic differences between the imparting of knowledge by realist artists or authors aiming to clarify, and the critiquing of knowledge or what Paul Fry has called “knowledge-fixation” by formal experimenters and authors of the anti-realistic (204).

Their content may be at odds, he suggests, but their forms and ways of thinking are not. And, for Adorno, it is ultimately the form that matters. 28). It is difficult not to read this passage in “Commitment” as a tacit response to a number of moments in which other scholars had accused Adorno’s beloved modernism of consorting with Nazism. Lukács alone provides repeated examples. ”, Lukács makes bedfellows of modernists and Hitler. Lukács claims that Gottfried Benn’s cynical answer to the question of whether artists can change the world explains why Benn could “tolerate the social evils of his time—even collaborating with Hitler” (64), and that the view of humanity suggested by modernist anti-realism “connives at that modern nihilism from which both Fascism and Cold War ideology draw their strength” (63).

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