Sunday, September 20, 2009
Kandinsky, the Spiritual in Art, and Islamic Contemporary
Something extraordinary happened in the middle of the Kandinsky show, now up at the Guggenheim Museum: I saw contemporary Islamic art.
In this Russian-born painter's patterns and curves and iconography, calligraphy emerged, and story, and the power of line and form -- the way calligraphy converges language and line and form and color -- and "the spiritual in art," as Kandinsky called it, pressed out from the canvases and into the marbled light of the museum.
It is this, I realized, which draws me to contemporary Islamic painting, as well. It is here, too, this spiritual in art, this symphony of riches.