bauhausbuch 09

kandinsky

punkt und linie zur fläche.

beitrag zur analyse der malerischen elemente

1926

schriftleitung

walter gropius

l. moholy nagy

I have purposely condensed the questions which I have posed concerning the beginning of the Science of Art, but these questions - when developed consistently - pass beyond the boundaries of painting, and finally of art altogether. Here I seek only to point the way, to establish certain analytical methods and, at the same time, to take synthetic values into account.

Kandinsky

Weimar 1923

Dessau 1925

Diagram 2 Point

Dissolution in progress (suggested diagonal d-a)

Diagram 4 Point Horizontal-vertical diagonal dot pattern for a free line construction

Diagram 5 Point

The black and white points as elementary colour values

Diagram 3 Point

9 points in ascent (emphasis upon the diagonal d-a through weight)

Fig. 89

Obstinacy with forebearance. The bends are loose. Resistance from the left, weak. At the right, compressed layer

Diagram 1 Point

Cool tension toward the center

Diagram 6 Line

Dasselbe in Linienform

## ”

## Point

The geometric point is an invisible thing. Therefore, it must be defined as an incorporeal thing. Considered in terms of substance, it equals zero.

Hidden in this zero, however, are various attributes which are »human« in nature. We think of this zero - the geometric point - in relation to the greatest possible brevity, i.e. to the highest degree of restraint which, nevertheless, speaks.

Thus we look upon the geometric point as the ultimate and most singular union of silence and speech.

A form which, when on the otherwise empty basic plane, may still be considered to be a point, must be termed a plane when, for example, a very thin line appears with it upon the basic plane (Fig. 2)..

## LINE

The geometric line is an invisible thing. lt is the track made by the moving point; that is, its product. lt is created by movement-specifically through the destruction of the intense self-contained repose of the point. Here, the leap out of the static into the dynamic occurs. The line is, therefore, the greatest antithesis to the pictorial protoelement - the point. Viewed in the strictest sense, it can be designated as a secondary element.

## DANCE

Already in the classical ballet form existed »points« - a designated terminology which unquestionably is derived from »point«. The rapid running on the toes leaves behind on the floor a trace of points. The ballet dancer leaps to a point above, clearly aiming at it with his head and, in landing, again contacts a point on the floor. High leaps in the modern dance can, in some cases1 be compared with the »classic« ballet's high leap; that, whereas the leap formerly pointed to a straight, vertical direction1 the »modern« leap frequently forms a five-pointed plane with its five extremities-head, two feet and two hands, whereby the ten fingers form ten smaller points (e.g., the dancer Palucca1 Fig. 9). Furthermore, the brief states of rigid immobility can be looked upon as points. Thus we have active and passive point formations which bear a relationship to the musical form of the point.

Graphic diagram of the leap

A leap of the dancer Palucca.

## MUSIC

In addition to the beating of the kettle-drum and striking of the triangle, of which we have already spoken, points can be produced in music with all sorts of instruments-especially the percussion instruments. The piano, however, enables the creation of finished compositions exclusively by means of the combination and the sequence of tonal points.

## BASIC PLANE

The term »Basic Plane« is understood to mean the material plane which is called upon to receive the content of the work of art. lt will be designated here by BP. The schematic BP is bounded by 2 horizontal and 2 vertical lines, and is thereby set off as an individual thing in the realm of its surroundings.

A

I. Vertical position »warm rest«

II. Horizontal position »cold rest«

B

I. Diagonal position »disharmonious«

II. Diagonal position

»harmonious«

Fig 90

Obstinacy in stiff tension. The bends harder. Resistance from the right strongly restraining. At the left, loose »air«.

## ATTACHMENT

Diagram 7 Line

With a point on the edge of the plane

Diagram 8 Line

Emphasized weights in black and white With a point on the edge of the plane

Diagram 9 Line

The thin lines hold their own in the presence of the heavy point

Diagram 10 Line

Graphic structure of a part of Composition 4, 1911

Diagram 11 Line

Linear structure of Composition 4 –

vertical-diagonal ascent

Diagram 12 Line

Eccentric structure in which the eccentricity is emphasized by the developing plane

Diagram 13 Line

Two curved lines to one straight line

Diagram 14 Line

The horizontal format favors the total tension of individual forms in slight tension

Diagram 15 Line

Free curve to the point-accompanying sound of geometric curves

Diagram 16 Line

Free wave-like line with accent-horizontal position

Diagram 20 Line

Diagonal tensions and counter-tensions with a point which brings an external construction to inner pulsation

Diagram 24 Line

Horizontal-vertical structure with contrasting diagonal and point tensions-scheme for picture lntimate Communication 1925

Diagram 17 Line

The same wave-like line accompanied by geometric lines

Diagram 18 Line

Simple and unified complex of several free lines

Tab. 23 Line

Inner relation of a complex of straight lines to a curved one (left – right) to the picture Black Triangle 1925

Diagram 25 Line

Linear structure of the picture Little Dream in Red 1925

Little Dream in Red 1925

wassily kandinsky:

why does the circle fascinate me?

it is

1. the most modest form, but asserts itself recklessly

2. precise, but inexhaustably variable

3. stable and unstable at the same time

4. quiet und loud at the same time

5. eine a tension which bears in it countless tensions.

the circle is a synthesis of greatest contrasts. It combines the concentric with the eccentric of one form in equilibrium. Of the three primary forms it is the clearest indication of the fourth dimension.

The substance of art is romanticism and it is our own fault if we mistake one image of time for a whole concept. Please do not tell me that this concept is stretched too far … until now I have called certain things »lrical triangle« (for which I have had to listen to incredible insults from the press); »lyric structure« etc.

The old fissure between these two concepts is no longer present: where does one draw the line between lyricism and romanticism? the circle … can occasionally be characterized as nothing but romantic. And the coming romanticism is, in fact, deep, beautiful … significantly auspicious – a block of ice with a burning flame inside.

kandinsky to grohmann 21. nov. 1925 and october 12, 1930.

## ”

# BAUHAUS BOOK 09

# KANDINSKY

# POINT AND LINE TO PLAN: CONTRIBUTION TO THE ANALYSIS OF THE PICTORIAL ELEMENTS

howard dearstyne

tr: hilla rebay

1947

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# bauhaus book 09

# kandinsky

# point and line to plan: contribution to the analysis of the pictorial elements

howard dearstyne

tr: hilla rebay

1947