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Wassily Kandinsky and his paintings

Wassily Kandinsky Portrait
Wassily Kandinsky is best known for his work as an abstract painter. He is a Russian abstract painter, and also did work as an art theorist, and was credited with being the first artist to create the first purely abstract piece of art. He played a key part in the art movement, around 1910, which liberated painting from representational services. He is known as a pioneer in the abstract movement, with several loyal fans and art lovers, praising his work as a painter, and as an abstract creator of timeless pieces.

Early Career

Born in 1866, Wassily Kandinsky only began painting studies at the age of thirty, which is a bit later than most artists. Initially, Kandinsky studied law in Russia, not painting, married, and came as close as he ever could to settling down. The earliest painting in the show dates to 1904, and at that age Picasso had already raced through Cubism and landed on the other side.

Kandinsky settled in Munich in 1896, and studied there for a period of time, but World War I broke up much of the School of Paris, like another Russian painter, Marc Chagall, Wassily Kandinsky went back to Moscow in 1916. In 1921 he returned to Germany, where he worked teaching at a school of architecture, until it was closed in 1933 by the Nazis. Following this, he moved to France, where he became a citizen in 1939, and remained there for the remainder of his life. He created many of his most well known pieces during this time, and created many influential art works, once he moved to this area. Most of the work that he did after becoming a French citizen, was more of a humorous style, depicted lighter color scenes, and focused on a richness of formal invention with his work.

Art Theory

Wassily Kandinsky and the abstract art period, was followed by a period of development and maturation, which were based on his previous artistic creations. While in art school, which was quite easy for the artist, he began to delve in to art theory. During this time, many of his paintings were based on different locations which he saw; different towns, and landscapes which he painted were done using deep swaths of color, to encompass the depth and character of different locations he visited. For the most part, the work which he created did not feature many human figures, if any.

Blue Rider

This was perhaps one of his most influential pieces, which was created in 1903. It shows a small cloaked figure, on a horse, which is speeding through a rich meadow. The rider's cloak is a dark blue, and the blue amorphous shadows used in the drawing, also depict the dark, depth of the character, and the piece in general. A disconnect is seen in this piece, where a second figure is seen being held by the rider of the horse. It is believed that his work left much to the imagination, allowing the viewer of this piece (and work he created following it), to decipher their own thoughts, and create their own perceptions of what Wassily Kandinsky was trying to depict in his work. This piece was the first in a series of what became known as the abstract period, which followed around the year 1911, which he was a pioneer in the movement for.

Theoretical Writings

In addition to being a leader of the abstract movement, Wassily Kandinsky, also participated as a viewer of different art forms, where he created several theoretical writings, about his work, as well as other pieces which were created during this period. He had different analysis pieces written on form and color, which were not the result of a simple arbitrary decision by the artist, but rather came from an inner experience which the artist was feeling. This is similar to what the abstract movement depicts. It was a movement, and style of art which dove deeper than the canvas, and allowed artists to create something based on inner feeling and emotion, as opposed to simply depicting what they saw in nature around them, when creating any distinct piece of art work.

During this time, Wassily Kandinsky spent several years creating abstract work, and worked using deep colors and worked on his form, observing not only his work, but that of other artists as well. It was during this time that he noted the effects of color, on the senses, as well as on the piece as a whole. This subjective approach at viewing art allowed him to not only look at his work, but that of other artists of the time, to interpret the meaning, not based on what was on the canvas, but based on the emotion which was depicted through the use of deep and rich color and form.

In 1926, his development of his work on form study led to a second book being published. This book particularly focused on point and line designs, which he depicted his theoretical experience with this art form. Not only did this book focus on point and line art form, it focused on depth of design, creation, and how the art movements had changed during this time period, and artists depicted their emotions on canvas in different ways.

Future publications which he created focused on spiritual art forms and paintings in particular. A life and works book was also written about his work, and various contributors, in the art world, added to the publication. It not only features some of his most influential works and pieces created, but also depicts biographical and art history data about Wassily Kandinsky, the time period in which he contributed, and the type of works which he most influenced in the abstract art form and period.

Although many of the contributions he made were off the canvas, he did contribute greatly to the art world, not only during his lifetime, but also following his death. Wassily Kandinsky was one of the main contributors to the abstract movement; not only in the way he depicted his art, but also in theoretical writings, his work, and his writing about depth, color, perception, and inner emotions which artists depict on canvas. He not only has several well known pieces, he was also a catalyst for future artists that followed this well known abstract movement which he pioneered.

In 1937, Nazi officials purged German museums of works the Party considered to be degenerate. In March of 1939 over one thousand paintings and almost four thousand watercolors and drawings of modern artists, including Wassily Kandinsky, Marc Chagall, Paul Klee, Piet Mondrian, and Franz Marc, were burned in the courtyard of a fire station in Berlin.

Although many of the contributions he made were off the canvas, he did contribute greatly to the art world, not only during his lifetime, but also following his death. Wassily Kandinsky was one of the main contributors to the abstract movement; not only in the way he depicted his art, but also in theoretical writings, his work, and his writing about depth, color, perception, and inner emotions which artists depict on canvas. He not only has several well known pieces, he was also a catalyst for future artists that followed this well known abstract movement which he pioneered.

I applied streaks and blobs of color onto the canvas with a palette knife and I made them sing with all the intensity I could...”
-Wassily Kandinsky

For some years after the war little interest was shown in his art, but today, decades after his death, as Franz Marc had predicted in 1913, Kandinsky's paintings are "emerging from the silent shadows of time with the blaze of comets."

Masterpieces of Wassily Kandinsky

  • Composition VI
    Composition VI
  • Composition VII
    Composition VII
  • Yellow-Red-Blue
    Yellow-Red-Blue
  • Improvisation, 31 (Sea Battle)
    Improvisation, 31 (Sea Battle)
  • Bustling Aquarelle
    Bustling Aquarelle
  • Farbstudie Quadrate
    Farbstudie Quadrate
  • Points
    Points
  • Mit und Gegen
    Mit und Gegen
  • Improvisation 27
    Improvisation 27
  • Small Dream in Red
    Small Dream in Red
  • Composition VIII
    Composition VIII
  • On White II
    On White II
  • Multicolored Circle
    Multicolored Circle
  • Blue Sky
    Blue Sky
  • Capricious
    Capricious
  • Composition X
    Composition X
  • Two Green Points
    Two Green Points
  • White Dot
    White Dot
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