Kandinsky- Thinking about the Spiritual in Art

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In Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1911) and other writings, the artist Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) pursues several guiding questions concerning the spiritual aspects of art. For example: What is the relationship between art and spirituality? How does a work of art express spiritual ideas and themes? And would it be helpful to think of the artist as a kind of visionary or a spiritual seer? In this article, I reconstruct Kandinsky's theory of art and I clarify his understanding of what spirituality is. Then I return to the three guiding questions listed above to consider the relationship between art and spirituality in the light of Kandinsky's views. I argue that both Kandinsky's writings and his paintings help to illuminate the spiritual dimension of art, and his pioneering text, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, remains an important starting-point for reflections on this theme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-49
Number of pages24
JournalReligion and the Arts
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • History
  • Religious studies


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