Abstract · children's art · colour · composition · Kandinsky · Modern art · Uncategorized

Can you hear the colour?

Kandinsky 2

It has always fascinated me how in the period of the late 19th century to the early 20th century that artists were exploring the link between art and music. It began with the artist Whistler giving his paintings musical titles.

Symphony in white No: 2

Symphony in White, No. 2: The Little White Girl 1864 by James Abbott McNeill Whistler 1834-1903

Gradually colour and all references to the figurative were reduced and synthetised to the pure abstraction of colour and shape as seen in the work of Kandinsky. “Colour is a means of a direct influence on the soul.” Kandinsky had a condition known as synaesthesia, this allows the person to experience two senses at one time; so when he saw the colour blue at the same time he heard a sound or tone. This is what he tried to capture in his paintings. Just as when an instrument is played it produces vibrations of sound so he wanted the colours and shapes in his paintings to vibrate with colour.

art 8

This is one of my Year 8 student’s work inspired by Kandinsky. For this work we use coloured inks which give the vibrancy and intensity of colour. Following in the tradition of the senses playing a major aspect of Kandinsky’s work I get my students to do the first black parts of the painting with their eyes closed. By doing this a different sense comes into play as well as the aspect of a trust and belief in your own creativity.


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