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The Lasting Influence of Kandinsky: Exploring Contemporary Artistic Expressions

Art Lovers | 15 January 2024

Written by Danielle Pezzi | BFA (Hon), MA

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Kandinsky the focus of Art Gallery of NSW summer exhibition

‘To create a work of art is to create the world.’

In the ever-evolving art world, artists constantly look to past masters to help shape their current art practice. Russian Expressionist Vasily (Wassily) Kandinsky, a pioneer of abstract art in the early 20th century, continues to inspire contemporary artists worldwide. In line with the current exhibition called Kandinsky at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, this blog will explore the lasting impact of Kandinsky’s style, colours, techniques, and concepts influencing some of Art Lovers Australia’s most talented artists.

Nagano by SHERYLLE DOVASTON | 152 x 76cm, Acrylic on canvas

Colour and Emotion:

Kandinsky is famous for his use of colour, believing that hues possessed emotional and spiritual qualities. Contemporary artists like Kandinsky often use vibrant and unconventional colour palettes to evoke emotions and challenge traditional painting norms. The mix of strong contrasts and harmonious blends of colours found in Kandinsky’s works can be seen in the paintings of many current artists, who continue to explore emotions through colour in their pieces.

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Feeling the Energy by IAN BURGESS | 61 x 76cm, Oil on canvas

Expression through Abstraction:

Kandinsky’s expressionistic journey into abstraction marked a turning point in the art world, and his legacy lives on in the work of contemporary artists who push the boundaries of traditional representation. The fluid, non-representational forms and dynamic compositions found in Kandinsky’s paintings have inspired a new generation of artists to experiment with abstraction.

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Deer in the City by WENDY SHERWELL | 51 x 72cm, Oil on canvas

Spatial Composition:

Kandinsky was a master at creating depth but also flattering the depth in his abstract works, playing with different spatial relationships to engage the viewer. Contemporary artists have adopted and explored this concept, using different techniques to manipulate space within their artworks. Whether through layering, optical illusions, or three-dimensional elements, artists today draw inspiration from Kandinsky’s innovative approach to spatial dynamics.

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10,000x by TANIA FITZGERALD | 102 x 76cm, Mixed media on canvas

The power of music when making art:

A unique aspect of Kandinsky’s artistic philosophy was his fascination with the combination of sensory experiences. Kandinsky saw music as the ultimate expression of non-objective art, believing musicians could conjure mental images using only sounds. He aimed to create paintings devoid of tangible objects yet spiritually profound, suggesting sounds and emotions through harmonious brush strokes.

Morbid Bliss

Morbid Bliss by MELED TAOUK | 85.5 x 65.5cm, Acrylic on board

In today’s art world, Vasily Kandinsky’s impact is still strong. Artists draw inspiration from his colour theory, abstraction, the power of expressionism and spatial dynamics. The Lasting Influence of Kandinsky highlights how many Australian contemporary artists continue to honour him while creating their unique paths. This legacy shows the timeless influence of artistic exploration and the lasting impact of a visionary who challenged artistic norms.

Vasily Kandinsky | Dominant Curve | The Guggenheim Museums and Foundation

Dominant Curve by VASILY KANDINSKY

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