Wassily Kandinsky ๐Ÿ–Œ๐Ÿ–ผ๐ŸŸก

" Wassily Kandinski, Self Portrait " Yes, it's Kandinsky, but I don't think it'sโ€ฆ Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, Self Portrait Artists, Collaborative Art, Art Abstrait, Art Moderne, Russian Art, Watercolor Portraits, Klimt
Self-portrait, by Kandinsky
Cossaks, by Kandinsky, 1910-11, Tate Modern
Circles in a Circle, by Kandinsky, 1923, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Swinging, Kandinsky, 1925, Tate Modern

Born in Moscow on 18 December 1866, Wassily Kandinsky is typically credited as the founding father of abstract art. Interestingly enough, he started painting studies only at the age of 30, after an initial academic career as professor of law. At this point in his life he moved to Munich, in Germany, where he also taught at the Bauhaus school from 1922 until its closure by the Nazis in 1933. He finally settled in Paris, where he continued his work as a painter and art theorist until his death in 1944.

His early paintings are figurative but he progressively experiments with abstract concepts and with bringing together visual art with other art fields, as in this composition, Cossacks, loosely inspired by a military parade of the Russian cavalry unit but representing it in an expressive projection that associates colours with musical tones. This painting is exhibited at Tate Modern in London.

This other composition, Circles in a Circle, is more linked to geometry and physics. It is set against a white background, based around one big black-rimmed circle and two beams of coloured light across the canvas that change colours when intersecting other smaller coloured circles in the middle of the artwork. This painting is normally exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Swinging was painted by Vassily Kandinsky while in Weimar, Germany, in 1925. This oil painting makes use of geometrical shapes, various layers and contrasting colours to generate a dynamic depiction which is not strictly connected with reality. Kandinsky pioneers abstract art and develops artistic theories that underpin his innovative approach to the expression of new visual ideals. This painting is now exhibited at Tate Modern in London.

Composition IX, by Kandinsky, 1936, Centre Pompidou

This large oil painting by Vassily Kandinsky, Composition IX, 1936, belongs to the period before WWII he spent in Paris, when his ideas about art and composition were being synthesised in his late complex artworks. Elements present in this composition can be seen in previous paintings but are brought together in a more elaborate depiction. A background of broad diagonal coloured stripes makes contrast to biomorphic and geometric forms that seem to float in space above it. Possibly the central shape wants is reminiscent of an embryo within a womb, with other colourful shapes hovering the surreal environment. This painting is exhibited at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Essential references

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