Robert Dunt is a British painter who finds inspiration in music. In a similar vein to Kandinsky, Dunt uses vibrant and interesting colour combinations as a visual metaphor for music in a contemporary take on abstract expressionism. These paintings subvert expectations with their unusual colour contrasts, making them an exciting addition to any art collection.
Explore a bold and colourful world with Victoria Topping, a British artist who cites 70s Jazz and Soul, Gospel and Blues as some of her main influences. She refers to her work as ‘music for the eyes’, overtly referencing her musical inspiration with images of pianos and vinyl. There is an undeniable rhythm and flow to her artwork that is clearly drawn from her musical inspiration.
It’s not uncommon to see collaborations between different art forms, such as dancers working with musicians and photographers with fashion designers. These collaborations spring from the artist’s desire to draw upon different forms of creativity to inspire their own work. Music is a popular subject in the visual arts, and music is enhanced by the visual arts through album artwork and music videos. Artists as diverse as Picasso and Rousseau have taken on music as a subject, using this universal language to create expressive and interesting pieces. Some visual artists haven even argued that music is the highest art form in that it is almost entirely abstract, leaving interpretation open to the listener.
Pablo Picasso was a pioneer of the Cubist movement, and the influence of music is clear to see throughout his work. So strong is the link between his work and music that many different exhibitions have focused on this as a central theme, including a 2011 exhibition at the world-famous Museum of Modern Art in New York. Picasso’s musical inspiration comes mainly from his upbringing and the culture of his native Spain, with flamenco and the Andalusian cante jondo (deep song) having some of the strongest influence on his early work. Many of Picasso’s works take the guitar as a subject, painted in his signature Cubist style to challenge traditional concepts of space and perspective.
Kandinsky is another well-known artist who played with ideas of music in his paintings. While the link might not be as immediately obvious as in Picasso’s guitar paintings, Kandinsky considered his work to be a sort of visual music, going so far as to name his works compositions and improvisations. Through a masterful use of shading and colour, Kandinsky created what he termed ‘visual chords’, designed to affect the viewer in the same way that music does.