“the eye is the hammer”

So yes,  I’m really loving Kandinsky right now.  Maybe I’m finally starting to fall in love with Modern art. They’ve got this astonishing series of four Kandinsky panels at the MOMA, designed originally to surround you in a home’s entryway.

“Color is a means of exerting direct influence upon the soul. Color is a keyboard. The eye is the hammer. The soul is the piano, with its many strings.”  Kandinsky

Panel for Edwin R. Campbell No. 2 Vasily Kandinsky (French, born Russia. 1866-1944)  1914. Oil on canvas, 64 1/8 x 48 3/8" (162.6 x 122.7 cm). Nelson A. Rockefeller Fund (by exchange). © 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Panel for Edwin R. Campbell No. 2 Vasily Kandinsky 1914. MOMA, New York

Panel for Edwin R. Campbell No. 4 Vasily Kandinsky (French, born Russia. 1866-1944)  1914. Oil on canvas, 64 1/4 x 48 1/4" (163 x 122.5 cm). Nelson A. Rockefeller Fund (by exchange). © 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Panel for Edwin R. Campbell No. 4 Vasily Kandinsky 1914. MOMA, New York

Now, I originally saw these and thought “Four Seasons” and saw the landscape qualities in them. Spring, summer, winter, fall.

My SigO saw music.  The curator’s comments focused on the musical aspects, since Kandinsky was also a classical pianist and delved deeply into the spiritual and musical aspects of his painting.  So I didn’t say much about my alternative interpretation because god knows I don’t want to be “wrong” about art. How embarrassing would that be? Ha!

As it turns out,  a credible art expert takes my view as well, citing sketches Kandinsky made for these panels that show hills, sky, trees, etc.

Can I get a Hallelujah please? The stars aligned and the impossible happened.  We were both”right.” If it can happen once, It can happen again right???

Panel for Edwin R. Campbell No. 3 Vasily Kandinsky (French, born Russia. 1866-1944)  1914. Oil on canvas, 64 x 36 1/4" (162.5 x 92.1 cm). Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund. © 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Panel for Edwin R. Campbell No. 3 Vasily Kandinsky 1914. MOMA, New York

Panel for Edwin R. Campbell No. 1 Vasily Kandinsky (French, born Russia. 1866-1944)  1914. Oil on canvas, 64 x 31 1/2" (162.5 x 80 cm). Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund. © 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Panel for Edwin R. Campbell No. 1 Vasily Kandinsky 1914. MOMA, New York


3 Comments on ““the eye is the hammer””

  1. SigO says:

    Hallelujah!

    Quick side note, “I’d rather be happy than right, but if I can be happy and right, I’ll gladly take that with no objection.” Funny, a wise man once postulated the question, “would you rather be happy or right?” My response was the same 15 years ago as it is today, I want both. ha.

    I walked into this room and felt happy, happy then connected to experiences that create the same feeling. Music immediately came to mind, mostly because of the bright color and active quality of these paintings. I muttered to myself sheepishly, “I think these paintings are about music.” The autotron audio guide droned on (no offense intended to those inside the ornate gates of art) and mentioned “music” and his belief that “music is the purest form of abstract art.” Heck yeah! That’s awesome, I got this one on the bulls eye!

    The cool thing about it though, it was my experience, I owned it. I didn’t listen to the art expert and then think about it or automatically agree with it. I walked in, asked the question, “what is this all about?” Then my soul answered. Now granted the subject matter was in my wheelhouse (I love and respond to music), but isn’t that what this is all about?

    Maybe I shouldn’t be so judgmental and quick to say “I don’t get it” and instead ask the question more often. Wow, can art really help us grow as individuals? Can it help us learn how to be decent human beings? Maybe it’s not frivolous after all. Maybe it’s just communication between two people. Maybe it’s like literature, music, therapy, good conversation. I could go on and on, but won’t…. just yet.

    • heatherit says:

      I think of art as a soul mirror, bringing to my consciousness things I might not have had a chance to think about from many cultures and time periods. Spanning centuries, geography, race and religion. A doorway into what Jung called the “collective soul” or some call the “god within.” Kandinsky called art “a prophet.” Either way, its a fun exploration. Whether or not it makes you a better person, I’m certainly not qualified to judge.

  2. SigO says:

    well, if art brings to your consciousness things you might no have had a chance to consider, then art certainly did its job, the rest is up to us? or maybe it’s perfectly okay to be frivolous from time to time. maybe art shouldn’t have a job description to begin with? okay, I can see what you mean by mirror.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s