Wassily Kandinsky’s writings provide a robust account for the process of artistic creation. This paper analyzes artistic creation through the lens of Hegel’s theory of alienation in order to explain how an artist can produce meaningful pieces of art that contribute to humanity’s collective spiritual progress. To do so, I argue for the presence of a triadic structure in Kandinsky’s theory, the moments of which I call discernment, translation, and crafting. These three moments together demonstrate how the artist’s consciousness can create a goal for a work of art and then embody that goal in a finished composition. Hegelian alienation is a useful tool to characterize the artist’s consciousness, particularly in order to see how an artist can pick a timely goal to effect spiritual progress.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Humanities and Arts
Major Qualifying Project
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