Wassily Kandinsky

Kandinsky was a Russian painter, famous for his abstract, expressionist art compositions. Kandinsky’s abstract paintings followed years as a theorist & art teacher which led to his high quality abstract paintings which remain popular today. Kandinsky’s trademarks style involve bright colors, abstract shapes and geometric forms to create a busy series of paintings which he felt best demonstrated his emotions, rather than preset ideas of other art movements.

Like other contemporary abstract artists, Kandinsky enjoyed the freedom and independence that these types of paintings gave him. Kandinsky’s paintings included The Blue Rider, or Der Blaue Reiter, which involved a use of strong forms and objects with intersecting lines to form a complex maze of rich colour and expression. Wassily Kandinsky was crucial in the rise of Abstract Expressionism and Modern art. Kandinsky is one of the most famous Russian artists of all time, and his Abstract art has spread all around the world and remains popular even today.

Kandinsky was indeed slow to enter the art world, at 30 he gave up his promising law teaching career to bravely enter the art school in Munich. At this early stage Kandinsky gained inspiration from Monet & Blavatsky. He also was interested in Theosophical theory which influenced his use of circles, triangles, and squares.

Kandinsky’s use of geometric shapes in his art is best illustrated in paintings such as Squares Concentric Rings, Composition IX, Composition X and On White II. Other paintings such as Composition VI & Composition VII show his alternative, more fluid approach, whilst still experimenting with colors and emotions.

Wassily Kandinsky left an extraordinary mark on the art world and is respected for his abstract work and the innovation and creativity that this brought. As an example of this, we include some famous quotes regarding this famous Russian artist below:

Quotations on Kandinsky

“[Kandinsky] has not only produced a work whose sensorial magnificence and invention richness eclipses those of its most remarkable contemporaries; he has given moreover an explicit theory of abstract painting, exposing its principles with the highest precision and the highest clarity. In this way the painted work is coupled with an ensemble of texts that enlighten it and that make at the same time of Kandinsky one of the major theorists of the art.” (Michel Henry, Seeing the invisible, on Kandinsky)

“Kandinsky has been fascinated by the expression power of linear forms. The pathos of a force entering in action and whose victorious effort is annoyed by no obstacle, that’s lyricism. That’s because the straight line proceeds from the action of a unique force with no opposition that its domain is lyricism. When on the opposite two forces are in presence and enter in conflict, as this is the case with the curve or with the angular line, we are in the drama.” (Michel Henry, Seeing the invisible, on Kandinsky)

“Kandinsky calls abstract the content that painting must express, that’s to say this invisible life that we are. In such a way that the Kandinskian equation, to which we have alluded to, can be written in reality as follows : Interior = interiority = invisible = life = pathos = abstract.” (Michel Henry, Seeing the invisible, on Kandinsky).

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