To the Unknown Voice

Kandinsky spent nearly six months preparing to create this painting, at first intending the work to evoke a flood, baptism, destruction and rebirth all at the same time.

He first outlined the work on an oversized wooden panel, but soon experienced an artistic block, and found himself unable to paint. Gabrielle Munter, his assistant at the time, told him that he was blocked, and he needed to release himself from his intellectual trappings surrounding the painting.

She suggested that he simply repeat the word “uberflut,” meaning “flood” or “deluge,” focusing on the sound of the word rather than its meaning, releasing his mind from the artistic block and focusing only on the music of the word.

Kandinsky set down to work, and completed the painting in three days, all the while repeating the word like a mantra.

Source: WikiArt

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Wassily Kandinsky