Wassily Kandinsky

Russian, Expressionist, 1866-1944

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Composition VIII
Wassily Kandinsky
237 USD
 

Yellow-Red-Blue
Wassily Kandinsky
233 USD

Improvisation 27
Wassily Kandinsky
246 USD

Study for Improvisation V
Wassily Kandinsky
234 USD
 
Squares with Concentric Circles
Wassily Kandinsky
222 USD
 
293
Wassily Kandinsky
232 USD
 
Composition VI
Wassily Kandinsky
270 USD
 
Aquarell 6
Wassily Kandinsky
238 USD
 
Small worlds I
Wassily Kandinsky
223 USD
 
Circles in a Circle
Wassily Kandinsky
235 USD
 
On White II
Wassily Kandinsky
251 USD
 
Several Circles
Wassily Kandinsky
234 USD
 
Soft Hard
Wassily Kandinsky
219 USD
 
Brown with Supplement
Wassily Kandinsky
226 USD
 
Composition IX
Wassily Kandinsky
282 USD
 
Composition X
Wassily Kandinsky
290 USD
 
Composition VII
Wassily Kandinsky
369 USD
 
 Fugue
Wassily Kandinsky
345 USD
 
Points
Wassily Kandinsky
244 USD
 
Study for Improvisation 8
Wassily Kandinsky
238 USD
 
Composition V
Wassily Kandinsky
274 USD
 
Composition IV
Wassily Kandinsky
268 USD
 
Study to 'Composition II'
Wassily Kandinsky
280 USD
 
Transverse Line
Wassily Kandinsky
273 USD
 
Sin Titulo
Wassily Kandinsky
277 USD
 
Blue Circle
Wassily Kandinsky
297 USD
 
Two Movements
Wassily Kandinsky
220 USD
 
Dominant Curve
Wassily Kandinsky
271 USD
 
Complex-Simple
Wassily Kandinsky
285 USD
 
Mild Process
Wassily Kandinsky
230 USD
 
Downwards
Wassily Kandinsky
234 USD
 
In Between
Wassily Kandinsky
277 USD

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Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky (16 December 1866 – 13 December 1944) was an influential Russian painter and art theorist. He is credited with painting one of the first purely abstract works. Born in Moscow, Kandinsky spent his childhood in Odessa, where graduated at Grekov Odessa Art school. He enrolled at the University of Moscow, studying law and economics. Successful in his profession - he was offered a professorship (chair of Roman Law) at the University of Dorpat - Kandinsky began painting studies (life-drawing, sketching and anatomy) at the age of 30.

In 1896 Kandinsky settled in Munich, studying first at Anton Ažbe's private school and then at the Academy of Fine Arts. He returned to Moscow in 1914, after the outbreak of World War I. Kandinsky was unsympathetic to the official theories on art in Communist Moscow, and returned to Germany in 1921. There, he taught at the Bauhaus school of art and architecture from 1922 until the Nazis closed it in 1933. He then moved to France, where he lived for the rest of his life, becoming a French citizen in 1939 and producing some of his most prominent art.

Kandinsky's creation of abstract work followed a long period of development and maturation of intense thought based on his artistic experiences. He called this devotion to inner beauty, fervor of spirit, and spiritual desire inner necessity; it was a central aspect of his art.

Kandinsky's conception of art

The artist as prophet 

Writing that "music is the ultimate teacher,"[citation needed] Kandinsky embarked upon the first seven of his ten Compositions. The first three survive only in black-and-white photographs taken by fellow artist and friend Gabriele Münter. While studies, sketches, and improvisations exist (particularly of Composition II), a Nazi raid on the Bauhaus in the 1930s resulted in the confiscation of Kandinsky's first three Compositions. They were displayed in the State-sponsored exhibit "Degenerate Art", and then destroyed (along with works by Paul Klee, Franz Marc and other modern artists).

Influenced by theosophy and the perception of a coming New Age, a common theme among Kandinsky's first seven Compositions is the apocalypse (the end of the world as we know it). Writing of the "artist as prophet" in his book, Concerning the Spiritual In Art, Kandinsky created paintings in the years immediately preceding World War I showing a coming cataclysm which would alter individual and social reality. Raised an Orthodox Christian, Kandinsky drew upon the biblical stories of Noah's Ark, Jonah and the whale, Christ's resurrection, the four horsemen of the Apocalypse in the book of Revelation, Russian folktales and the common mythological experiences of death and rebirth. Never attempting to picture any one of these stories as a narrative, he used their veiled imagery as symbols of the archetypes of death–rebirth and destruction–creation he felt were imminent in the pre-World War I world.

As he stated in Concerning the Spiritual In Art (see below), Kandinsky felt that an authentic artist creating art from "an internal necessity" inhabits the tip of an upward-moving pyramid. This progressing pyramid is penetrating and proceeding into the future. What was odd or inconceivable yesterday is commonplace today; what is avant garde today (and understood only by the few) is common knowledge tomorrow. The modern artist–prophet stands alone at the apex of the pyramid, making new discoveries and ushering in tomorrow's reality. Kandinsky was aware of recent scientific developments and the advances of modern artists who had contributed to radically new ways of seeing and experiencing the world.

Composition IV and later paintings are primarily concerned with evoking a spiritual resonance in viewer and artist. As in his painting of the apocalypse by water (Composition VI), Kandinsky puts the viewer in the situation of experiencing these epic myths by translating them into contemporary terms (with a sense of desperation, flurry, urgency, and confusion). This spiritual communion of viewer-painting-artist/prophet may be described within the limits of words and images.

Artistic and spiritual theorist

As the Der Blaue Reiter Almanac essays and theorizing with composer Arnold Schoenberg indicate, Kandinsky also expressed the communion between artist and viewer as being available to both the senses and the mind (synesthesia). Hearing tones and chords as he painted, Kandinsky theorized that (for example), yellow is the colour of middle C on a brassy trumpet; black is the colour of closure, and the end of things; and that combinations of colours produce vibrational frequencies, akin to chords played on a piano. Kandinsky also developed a theory of geometric figures and their relationships - claiming, for example, that the circle is the most peaceful shape and represents the human soul. These theories are explained in Point and Line to Plane (see below).

During the studies Kandinsky made in preparation for Composition IV, he became exhausted while working on a painting and went for a walk. While he was out, Gabriele Münter tidied his studio and inadvertently turned his canvas on its side. Upon returning and seeing the canvas (but not yet recognizing it) Kandinsky fell to his knees and wept, saying it was the most beautiful painting he had ever seen. He had been liberated from attachment to an object. As when he first viewed Monet's Haystacks, the experience would change his life.[citation needed]

In another episode with Münter during the Bavarian abstract expressionist years, Kandinsky was working on his Composition VI. From nearly six months of study and preparation, he had intended the work to evoke a flood, baptism, destruction, and rebirth simultaneously. After outlining the work on a mural-sized wood panel, he became blocked and could not go on. Münter told him that he was trapped in his intellect and not reaching the true subject of the picture. She suggested he simply repeat the word uberflut ("deluge" or "flood") and focus on its sound rather than its meaning. Repeating this word like a mantra, Kandinsky painted and completed the monumental work in a three-day span.

Art market

In 2012, Christie's auctioned Kandinsky's Study for Improvisation 8, a 1909 view of a man wielding a broadsword in a rainbow-hued village, for $23 million. The painting had been on loan to the Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Switzerland, since 1960 and was sold to a European collector by the Volkart Foundation, the charitable arm of the Swiss commodities trading firm Volkart Brothers. Before this sale, the artist's last record was set in 1990 when Sotheby's sold his Fugue (1914) for $20.9 million. 

Source: Wikipedia