Kandinsky: A Vision Of Art, Psychology And Life Worth More Than $23,000,000

Wassily Kandinsky, (1866-1944), was not only the father of abstract art, he was a man with a vision of art and life that has great meaning today. Kandinsky’s vision is compelling. I find that it’s well-aligned with 21st century depth psychology and Depth Therapy.

In November of this year Kandinsky’s painting, Rigid and Curve, sold for $23.3 million dollars. Kandinsky would have been mortified that his work had become an investment for the wealthy.

This is not a negative judgment of the wealthy, but of the values that have twisted art into strange shapes and missed what art truly is.

If we are possessed by a hammer point of view, then everything looks like a nail. Art is not a commodity or investment product. But in a culture possessed by a materialist point of view, it appears to be exactly that.

In 2015 Christie’s art auction house had $4.9 billion in revenue while Sotheby’s had $4.5 billion. How did great art and huge money get into bed together? Materialism is a mindset. One like a black hole that pulls everything toward its vision of reality.

Kandinsky felt that materialism was a nightmare, a nightmare that has our species in a hypnotic trance trapped at the meaningless surface of life. His critique of materialism was wise indeed.  Years ago, he used words that ring mightily true today:

“The all-important spark of inner life today is at present only a spark. Our minds, which are even now only just awakening after years of materialism are infected with the despair of unbelief, of lack of purpose and ideal. The nightmare of materialism, which has turned the life of the universe into an evil, useless game, is not yet past; it holds the awakening soul still in its grip. This feeble light is but a presentiment, and the soul, when it sees it, trembles in doubt whether the light is not a dream, and the gulf of darkness a reality.”

Materialism plays a significant role in many of our problems. It drives daily life into the shallows. It breeds a low level of consciousness that leaves us empty and disconnected from ourselves and others. Obsessive rat race-thoughts and feelings too often leave millions of people stressed, anxious, depressed and unable to get a good night’s sleep.

As a result, the speed and insecurity of daily surface life, we suffer from what evolutionary scientists call the Great Mismatch. Our wired in protective resource, known as the “fight or flight response,” is now obsolete. It’s meant for a time long gone. Today, it triggers too often and it stays on too long. Leaving us awash in stress hormones that seep into our blood and tissues where they can drive physical and psychological problems.

Real art and deep therapy are both calls away from surface speed. They are calls into the relaxation and awareness we find in our deep interior. They are calls to deep mind and inner life. They are also calls to awakening and enchantment, calls to beauty and to the truths that breathe life into our days, truths our species needs to survive.

Kandinsky painted with passion and intensity, from what he called “inner necessity.” From a need to dive deep inside. And to access archetypal experiences that his creative imagination could then transform into abstract images.

For Kandinsky art is an adventure in creativity and consciousness. Such artists don’t set up shop at the surface of things valued by a materialistic mindset alone. They don’t craft images to visually capture a trend or to represent surface reality. Or to merely look good, be admired, hang in museums and sell well at big money auctions.

Artists like Kandinsky journey through into deep inner realms, realms that surface thinking-mind cannot access or understand. Kandinsky’s primary aim was to experience and create Images, from the deep mind treasures that can deliver us to a New Day. Images that nourish our souls.

His greatest concern as an artist was for viewers of his work to SEE his paintings, not just look at them. To SEE an image, especially an abstract painting, we must be in a special state of mind.

Twenty-first century depth psychology illuminates and explains this process. And it provides access to this “special state of mind.”

Depth Therapy and Great Art are siblings from the same mother: The Creative Imagination.  Both call us away from the emptiness of the surface and into the richness of our deep interior, where we can experience and connect to who we truly are.

Frank Arnold is a friend and contemporary abstract figurative artist who paints and sculpts in Kandinsky’s mood and manner. He works from his heart.

For more about these ideas, see the BOOK section of this website, re: the book Your Creative Imagination. UNLOCKED. Become Who You Truly Are. Frank and I created this book together.
















Kandinsky: A Vision Of Art, Psychology And Life Worth More Than $23,000,000