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Wassily Kandinsky’s ‘Stage Painting’ and ‘Stage Composition’

Song Hai Young 1

1영남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Wassily Kandinsky(1866-1944) is widely known as a pioneer of an abstract painting. However, he also had a profound knowledge of music and literature including poem composition and instrument playing. Particularly he was very interested in integrated arts that a variety of arts get joined together on a theater stage. Most of previous studies on Kandinsky’s integrated arts have been conducted in terms of the theoretical aspect, in other words, it has not been substantially examined how Kandinsky’s integrated arts theory was reflected to his paintings. In this circumstance, the current study focused on Kandinsky’s paintings, such as <In the woods>(1904) and <The blue mountain>(1909), and stage compositions, such as <Black and white>(1909) and <Yellow sound>(1912). <In the woods> reflects Wagner’s integrated arts theory, and <The blue mountain> and the stage composition reflect the early 20st century’s revolutionary stage theory. First, Wagner’s integrated arts theory is well reflected to the painting, <In the woods>. The main character of the painting, a horse-riding knight implicates the image of a hero in Wagner’s music drama, and a white horse shows the specific foot motion moving toward according to the beat as Wagner emphasized. The synesthetic effect of colors and sounds was revealed through the woods in brown tone with red light implicitly represented as Wagner’s stage background emphasizing a vision and illusion. Meanwhile, the early 20th century’s stage theory attempting changes with opposing to Wagner’s music drama can be confirmed in the painting, <The blue mountain>(1908-1909), and the plays, <Black and white>(1909) and <Yellow sound>(1912). In these works, unknown characters who are typed and unreal moves as color and forms, which movements are strengthened through colors and lights with sounds. It has the audience sympathize to these individual pure factors of colors, forms, sounds and actions as the carrier of inner resonances. As mentioned above, Kandinsky’s stage works are confirmed through writings and paintings as he composed the common inner resonances through the individual factors including colors of paintings, sounds of music, movements of dancing. The main point in this work is to find a common language which is free from any genre, which is possible through the principle of abstract that is not bound to realistic objects. Kandinsky’s propensity to abstract was processed as internal necessity while he was pursuing a space of paining as a stage space.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.