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That is beautiful which is produced by the inner need, which springs from the soul ~Wassily Kandinsky

kandinsky book

“Concerning the Spiritual in Art” is a small but packed book by Russian expressionist artist, Wassily Kandinsky. In it he outlines his theory of art and the place that artists hold in society. He shuns “art for art’s sake” which is a “neglect of inner meanings” and a “vain squandering of artistic power.” The truth is, even for such a short read, there are parts that are a bit confusing. But there is a great take away in how he talks about honoring meaning in what you do as an artist.

The artist must have something to say, for mastery over form is not his goal but rather adapting of form to its inner meaning.

There is something in what Kandinsky says that reminds us to be the artists we are. To be true to our expression but also take care to craft our work: to use words not just for the lovely sounds they make but because they serve a narrative, a character, a larger story. And in terms of form, are you in sync with how your work wants to express itself or are you struggling to expand a piece of micro fiction into a novel or shove what wants to be a novel into something shorter?

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