I am simultaneously reading a biography about Georgia O'Keeffe...and the document "Concerning the Spiritual in Art" by Wassily Kandinsky. I wanted to share some excerpts.
"The life of the spirit may be fairly represented in diagram as a
large acute-angled triangle divided horizontally into unequal
parts with the narrowest segment uppermost. The lower the segment
the greater it is in breadth, depth, and area."
"At the apex of the top segment stands often one man, and only
one. His joyful vision cloaks a vast sorrow. Even those who are
nearest to him in sympathy do not understand him. Angrily they
abuse him as charlatan or madman."
"In every segment of the triangle are artists. Each one of them
who can see beyond the limits of his segment is a prophet to
those about him, and helps the advance of the obstinate whole.
But those who are blind, or those who retard the movement of the
triangle for baser reasons, are fully understood by their fellows
and acclaimed for their genius. The greater the segment (which is
the same as saying the lower it lies in the triangle) so the
greater the number who understand the words of the artist. Every
segment hungers consciously or, much more often, unconsciously
for their corresponding spiritual food. This food is offered by
the artists, and for this food the segment"
"Even too often it happens that one level of spiritual food
suffices for the nourishment of those who are already in a higher
segment. But for them this food is poison; in small quantities it
depresses their souls gradually into a lower segment; in large
quantities it hurls them suddenly into the depths ever lower and
"Such periods, during which art has no noble champion, during
which the true spiritual food is wanting, are periods of
retrogression in the spiritual world. Ceaselessly souls fall from
the higher to the lower segments of the triangle, and the whole
seems motionless, or even to move down and backwards. Men
attribute to these blind and dumb periods a special value, for
they judge them by outward results, thinking only of material
well-being. They hail some technical advance, which can help
nothing but the body, as a great achievement. Real spiritual
gains are at best under-valued, at worst entirely ignored."
Does this describe the current state of art, collection, and art prices???
Somehow I feel as tho we are in one of these motionless retro periods...but maybe it is jet lag from so MANY different art forms blossoming and changing at once. The effect is that we are standing still.