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Sunday Dec 05, 2010

Too Complex, Too Big

image

Composition V
1911
Oil on canvas
190 x 275 cm (6’ 3 7/8” x 9’ 1/4”)
Wassily Kandinsky


The great Russian painter, Wassily Kandinsky, was born yesterday in 1866.

Here’s a quote from my book, An Artist Empowered:

While winning a prize for your art can certainly make your day, it doesn’t ensure immediate acceptance and success. Gaining critical acclaim cuts both ways, and most often does.

History is replete with great art being rejected in its time. Around 1785, when Mozart started composing for himself instead of the public, his audience began leaving him and his ‘too’ complex music. Mozart, who was in desperate need of money, soon began writing more familiar notes to win his audience back.

In 1909, Wassily Kandinsky became a member of the influential New Society of Munich Artists. In time, other members of the Society became increasingly at odds with Kandinsky’s abstract work. Some derided his art as being the work of a madman, or someone under the influence of drugs.

Two years later the Society rejected Kandinsky’s masterwork, Composition V, for an exhibition because it was too big, an infringement of the Society’s rules. Kandinsky resigned in disgust.