Ezra Pound “on the language of form and colour”‏

Wassily Kandinsky - "304"

304 (1910)

Wassily Kandinsky


in trying to explain the genesis of his poem,
In a Station of the Metro“, Ezra Pound

And so, when I came to read Kandinsky’s chapter on the language of form and colour, I found little that was new to me. I only felt that someone else understood what I understood, and had written it out very clearly. It seems quite natural to me that an artist should have just as much pleasure in an arrangement of planes or in a pattern of figures, as in painting portraits of fine ladies, or in portraying the Mother of God as the symbolists bid us.”

Pound is saying that playing at painting is
no different from playing an instrument or
playing a part in a play, art is about playing,
the artist has reached enough skill at his or
her craft, that he or she, however seriously,
is now playing

therefore Kandinsky, for instance

there remains, however, communication,
how much will one want to play, join in,
when the artist’s aim should be, I would
think, communication, have the
refinements become so inscrutable as to
become alienating, and contrary to art,
if not outright rubbish under an effete,
affected, gaze

what do you think