From Russia With Love
"Color is a power which directly influences the soul."
I love this quote, because color definitely influences my soul.
Wassily Kandinsky was a Russian born artist who was musically and artistically gifted as a child, was guided into a profession of law by his parents and would later leave that profession to take up art full time.
While researching for this blog post, I got the feeling that Kandinsky would have been successful in whatever career he chose. His teaching, and organizational skills were put to good use in many endeavors.
Kandinsky was born in 1866 in Russia to a well to do cultured family. His father was a businessman, owning a tea factory. His parents saw his future as a lawyer and in 1886 he went to Moscow to study law and graduated with honors in 1893. While there Kandinsky excelled becoming an associate professor and soon a professor at the Department of Law. It was at this point in his life he visited an art exhibition and received an emotional shock at K. Monet’s
“Haystacks" and an impression of Rihard Wagner's "Lohengrin" at the Bolshoi Theatre that Kandinsky decided to walk away from his successful career and turned to painting full time.
In 1896 Kandinsky moved to Munich, Germany which at that time was considered one of the enters of European art. He entered Yugoslavian artist, Anton Azbe’s private school where he received a foundation for image composition and line and form. Evidently Kandinsky was a quick learner because he often either got bored with his classes or he saw so many ways to use what he learned that he was always on the move intellectually and physically.
Kandinsky divorced his first wife Anna after meeting artist Gabriella Munter and the two spent 5 years traveling across Europe, painting and being involved in exhibitions. They settled in Bavaria in a small town at the bottom of the Alps. While here Kandinsky painted mainly landscapes, but also began painting more and more abstractly. Kandinsky spent the rest of his life teaching and writing about line, form and color.
Of the many paintings Kandinsky painted in 1901, this one "Clear Air is my favorite. I think it is because I like soft romantic realistic paintings. This one definitely has those qualities, but if you will squint at this painting you will see shapes begin to take form such as the lines in the bench and the street, triangles of the dresses ovals, circles and elipses of the parasols. Those were all shapes that Kandinsky would later use in his abstract work.
Binz on Rugen 1901
was painted the same year and you can see how the abstract is beginning to affect his art.
Because Kandinsky had such keen organizational skills and was so active creatively, he attracted anything intellectual, restless and striving which was in the art world at that time. Those are words which could easily describe him as well. He taught, opened schools of art, offered free classes, wrote about line, color and form, organized exhibitions for himself and other artist friends and painted prolifically. You have heard the phrase, a force to be reckoned with, well Kandinsky was a creative force to be reckoned with. He became the father/founder of abstract art by 1911 and his work took on a totally different feel and look, to me.
Im going to add a progression of Kandinsky's work every 10 years so you can see the progression.
These were both from 1911. The colors in the top one drew me in, but the colors in the bottom one stole my heart.
Both of these fill up the entire canvas. In his later work he is not afraid of negative space.
Kandinsky worked in oils and water color.
You can see color shifts in his palette in tis one done in 1931.
Palette changing again by 1941.
I really like this one.
It's almost like they are dancing.
Last watercolor in 1944.
Like many other artists, Kandinsky worked up until his death. I guess that is the nature of art.
I hope you enjoyed this look into the life and art of Wassily Kandinsky. He is another artist I have learned a lot about in the research.
Information for this post came from http://www.wassilykandinsky.net
You can read much more about his life and accomplishments and view his art by the years it was produced.
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