There was a golden moment in the German art world in the early years of the 20th century, before World War I ravaged the art community and dealt a blow to its idealism. Wassily Kandinsky among others, founded a periodical, The Blue Rider, which encouraged artistic freedom and decried the chains of academic tradition. Their aim was to pour the human spirit directly on the canvas. They explored abstraction and radical use of color to tap into their own psyches and those of their viewers.
Based on my research paper: Georgia O’Keeffe and the Spiritual in Art – how Kandinsky and romanticism reached the Wild West (in Swedish), I have written some essays or articles, to be published on this website.
As a painter myself, feeling very much at home somewhere in the romantic, abstract expressionistic and symbolic fields, this research made me realize that modernism the way we have come to know it, is a fatally misunderstood movement.
In the beginning of the 20th century, there was so much spirituality in the air, as seen in photography and paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe, Kandinsky, Franz Marc, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and many others, but this strain of art history have been disfigured, especially at the time leading up to World War II.
What is more surprising is that certain art critics in mainstream media, on the other side of the WWII, have continued to eagerly serve powers, seemingly on purpose, to keep the lid on this strain for good.
From Kandinsky’s paintings and book “On The Spiritual in Art“, I have found similarities between the two artists, and started to wonder: is it even possible to articulate a principle for development, that relates to more than a few artists?
The thread through this series of short essays or articles is Georgia O’Keeffe and her spiritual and artistic development, maybe or maybe not in the footsteps of Kandinsky.
Whether you are an art historian or a critic, a collector of art or an artist, or just an interested reader, I hope you will find the story inspiring.