Vassily KANDINSKY (Moscow, 1866 - Neuilly-sur-Seine, 1944)

Composition

30.8 x 46.7 cm. ( 12 18 x 18 38 in.)
1930. Pen and black ink, colored pencils, and watercolor on paper. Lower left: Monogrammed and dated K30.

Provenance
· France, Private Collection.

One of the founders of abstract art, Vassily Kandinsky turned to painting fairly late, after an initial career as a law professor at the University of Moscow. In 1896, he settled in Munich to study first at a private school and then at the Fine Arts School with Franz von Stuck, where future Bauhaus members Josef Albers and Paul Klee were co-disciples. Between 1910 and 1920, the artist abandoned figurative painting for pure abstraction, measured by the rhythmic use of color. He theorized his approach to art, especially painting, in his work Concerning the Spiritual in Art in 1911.

After the Revolution, Kandinsky actively participated in renewing how art was taught. He was elected Vice President of the Academy of Fine Arts in Russia. In 1921, he returned to Germany to participate in the exhibition of Russian Art. The following year, Walter Adolph Georg Gropius offered him a position teaching mural painting at the Bauhaus. Kandinksy remained one of the key Bauhaus figures until 1933, when the rise of the Nazis forced him to emigrate to France.

The Composition which we present dates to the Bauhaus period. A light blue wash delimits the composition’s space. The assortment of primary colors associated with geometric forms, blue circles, red squares, yellow triangles, is reminiscent of the 1925 painting Yellow-Red-Blue in which geometric forms are linked to freer shapes.

In his reflections on color, Kandinsky considered warm yellow next to cool blue as a dynamic contrast which created movement. In the same way, red expressed overflowing vitality. The red square which terminates the composition thus acts as an energetic touch. The pen strokes framing the colored forms evokes birds both in a simplified drawing and in the Black Arc of 1912.

We would like to thank Mr. Jean-Christophe Vincent, a specialist of the artist, for having authenticated our work (certificate dated January 31, 2018).

General Bibliography (Unpublished Works)
José de LOS LLANOS, L’aquarelle de Dürer à Kandinsky, Paris, 1996.

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