Fantasy Conversation with Wassily Kandinsky


by Pygoya, 1980


Kandinsky: (1911) ... Whether the psychological effect of color is direct... or whether it is the outcome of association is open to question. The soul being one with the body, it may well be possible that a psychological tremor generates a corresponding one association.

Pygoya: Quite a spiritual way of interpreting "art".

Kandinsky: The form (of art) is always bound to its time, is relative, since it is nothing more than the means necessary today in which today's relevation manifest itself, resounds.

Pygoya: And today (1980s) it's the systems approach to everything, including art and science. Integration of knowledge for contemporary new visual and psychological results is my cup of tea as an artist with a contemporary intent for working.

Kandinsky: The form is the outer expression of the inner content.

Pygoya: The manipulation of visual stimuli (line, shape, color, etc.) relays the mental associations of the artist, i.e., his intended content (which may be the unconscious expression of emotions of vague origin), to others who cannot do that themselves or with such effective visual virtuosity.

Kandinsky: ... the spirit of the individual artist is mirrored in the form. The form bears the stamp of the personality.

Pygoya: That's why I entitled my April 1980 art exhibition of paintings "Self (Art) Criticism - and Paintings." Each work is a self portrait of my feelings and concerns of the moment during which each is rendered.

Kandinsky: Just as each individual artist has to make his word known, so does each people, and consequently, also that people to which this artist belongs. This connection is mirrored in the form and is characterized by the national element in the work.

Pygoya: Only in America could a doctor get away with opening a disco in his office without losing his license (and freedom?). That's why I hang the American flag as the centerpiece of *Da Waiting Room*.

Kandinsky: What is *Da Waiting Room*?

Pygoya: Forget it, it's way after your time.

Kandinsky: ... each age has its especially assigned task, the revelation possible at a specific age. The reflection of this temporal element is recognized in the work as style.

Pygoya: Yes, that is an element that gives contemporary work significance to others living during the same time. It also can be viewed as a limitation of creative potential and suggests to the serious artist to be seer of the future by pushing his artistic attempts beyond the limited confines of his "specific age."

Kandinsky: ... one may never believe a theoretician (art historian, critic, and so forth) when he asserts that he has discovered some objective mistake in the work. ... And: the only thing which the theoretician can justifiably assert is that he has, until now, not yet become familiar with this or that use of the means. And: the theoreticians who find fault with a work or praise it, starting with the analysis of the forms which have already existed, are the most harmful misleaders. They form a wall between the work and the naive observer. ... From this standpoint (which, unfortunately, is mostly the only one possible), the art critic is the worst enemy of art. ... The ideal art critic, then, would not be the critic who would seek to discover the "mistake", "aberrations", "ignorance", "plagiarisms", and so forth, but the one who would seek to feel how this or that form has an inner effect, and would then impart expressively his whole experience to the public.

Pygoya: Yes, but isn't that the purpose of the artist? The critic can only do this secondarily and with his unique own sensitivity and perception. What is the commonality of feeling elicited by the forms between those of the artist and those of the reviewer? The critic has to crystallize verbally the feeling of the artist, more so than his own, to do the job with excellence. He has to be the artist's interpreter instead of judge.

Kandinsky: The world resounds. it is a cosmos of spirituality acting beings. So dead matter is living spirit.

Pygoya: Very vitalistic thinking.

Kandinsky: There is an unconscious and enormous force in the child which manifest itself here and which puts the work of the child on an equally high (and often much higher!) level as the work of the adult.

Pygoya: My own romantic notions for empirically studying "developmental aesthetics" of our young students is to "save the children" from conforming to a devaluation and disinterest for art and creativity for the sake of growing up and competing only with the left brain hemisphere.

Kandinsky: The artist, who is similar in many ways to the child throughout his life, can often arrive at the inner resonance of things more easily than someone else.

Pygoya: It's harder to pull the wool over the eyes of the artist than some other personality types.