Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1977)- Wassily Kandinsky
Verdict: Read it!
Renowned Russian painter and art theorist Wassily Kandisnsky takes aim at “art for art’s sake” and argues for art that is spiritual (i.e. art that possess “inner meaning”) in Concerning the Spiritual in Art. Things get a bit more complex than that in his 57 page work, but that’s basically Kandinsky’s objective. So, how is it? It’s fantastic. While the book is written primarily for visual artists (you won’t find explicit detail on how to achieve “inner meaning” as a writer), any artist who is tired of the cult of nihilistic materialism and wants deep guiding principles for their own work will not be disappointed. Some of Kandinsky’s points are arguable—and he might have admitted as much—but as a whole his work is extremely moving and convincing. If you are not a visual artist, don’t get hung up on those details are foreign to you. Keep going and grab on to all that you can. Read it and read it again.