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The Cover
May 26, 1999

Improvisation 30 (Cannons)

JAMA. 1999;281(20):1873. doi:10.1001/jama.281.20.1873

A law professor turned painter, the Russian-born Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) is generally acknowledged as the father of abstract art. Freed from a dependence on recognizable images, this "motif-less" art was able, Kandinsky believed, to establish a more direct communication between painter and spectator. Just as in music melody and beat were able to affect the listener directly, without need for images or words, so too could pure form and color affect the spectator more directly. Since art, like music, was primarily spiritual, representational objects, spatial perspective, and narrative only set up additional barriers to the experience of reality the work of art presented.

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