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Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) was a Russian painter credited as being among the first to truly venture into abstract art. He persisted in expressing his internal world of abstraction despite negative criticism from his peers. He veered away from painting that could be viewed as representational in order to express his emotions, leading to his unique use of colour and form. Although his works received heavy censure at the time, in later years they would become greatly influential.



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Published 13 July 2015
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EAN13 9781785250682
Language English
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Author: Wassily Kandinsky
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ISBN: 9781785250682
Wassily Kandinsky
Wassily Kandinsky
A. About General Aesthetic I. Introduction II. The Movement of the Triangle III. Spiritual Revolution IV. The Pyramid
B. About Painting I. The Psychological Working of Colour II. The Language of Form and Colour III. Theory IV. Art and Artists
List of Illustrations
9 11 23 31 59
61 63 73 143 173
ussian painter, designer and art theorist Wassily Kandinsky (18661944) counts among the creators of Abstract Art. Originally pursuing a career in law, he only decided to turn thRe world of art nonetheless. A member of several groups of artists such asPhalanx,Die Neue towards a life as an artist at a relatively late stage, but succeeded in radically changing Künstlervereinigung München(Munich New Artist’s Association),Jack of DiamondsandDer Blaue Reiter(The Blue Rider), he was a leading influence in contemporary art. This book takes Kandinsky’s theoretical treatiseConcerning the Spiritual in Art(1912) as a starting point to approach both the artist and his work. The theories about colour and form presented in his text become manifest in his entire work and gain more and more importance throughout his creative life. Kandinsky’s artistic roots can be found in Russian icon painting, his subjects of Russian folklore prove his connection with his home country; later in his life he would return to, and reclaim Russian fairytales. Initially, Kandinsky adheres to Realism; followed by phases in numerous different movements – Impressionism, Art Nouveau, NeoImpressionism and Expressionism – before gravitating towards abstraction. During his first years as an artist in Munich (from 1896) his style can be described as organic. Together with his spouse and artistic colleague, Gabriele Münter, he paints colourful images of Bavarian nature and people’s lives; his representations of the small town Murnau would later become characteristic for this period. Kandinsky remained in Germany until the outbreak of World War I. After returning to Russia in 1914 he was influenced by Constructivism, resulting in compositions dominated by hard lines, points and geometrical shapes. Part of the Russian avantgarde, Kandinsky became an important figure of public cultural life in postrevolutionary Russia, until he left for Berlin due to the changing political climate.
During his time in Berlin (19201922) his landscape paintings from the Munich period are eventually replaced by increasingly abstract pictures. In the following years, whilst he is teaching at theBauhaus– first in Weimar, later in Dessau – his style develops a more geometric direction in the form of pictographs and hieroglyphs. In the following period, in Paris (from 1933), biomorphic shapes appear more and more often in his works. Like other contemporaries Kandinsky recognises the necessity of combining different artistic disciplines, particularly music and colour. In Kandinsky’s world colour becomes a medium to mainly express emotions rather than simply depict reality. Kandinsky created an impressive collection of oil paintings, watercolours and woodcuts which, each in their own way, reveal his artistic genius. He wrote other theoretical art texts likePoint and Line to Plane(1926). Both his paintings and th his writings make him one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20 century.
KandinskyinBerlin,January1922. Photograph. Musée national d’Art moderne, Centre GeorgesPompidou, Paris.
A. About General Aesthetic