Wassily Kandinsky Born in 1866 in Moscow, Russia Painter, teacher, and art theorist Died in 1944
WHAT IS AN ART THEORIST? Wassily Kandinsky talked about art with many people. He organized groups of artists that thought about art he way that he did. He wrote a book about art titled Concerning the Spiritual in Art.
IN 1896 KANDINSKY WAS INSPRED BY THE PAINTING “HAYSTACKS” PAINTED BY CLAUDE MONET Kandinsky thought that Monet had a very powerful use of color. What do you think? What do these shapes look like to you? Der Blaue Reiter or The Blue Rider Artists inspired by the painting “The Blue Rider” 1903, saw forms more as the overlapping of colors and free from lines. This group believed lines limited the form. Do you think that this painting looks somewhat like the “Haystacks” by Monet? Why?
Wassily Kandinsky lived in Russia where he studied law and economics in college. Kandinsky became a lawyer and he was a very good lawyer. But at age 30 he began painting and decided to teach art instead of law. Here is one of his earlier paintings from 1908 titled “Munich-Schwabing with the Church of St. Ursala”. What colors do you see? Do you think that the colors have equal intensities?
Wassily Kandinsky’s parents were both musicians. Kandinsky was greatly influenced by music. “Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul” -Kandinsky
Wassily Kandinsky First Abstract Watercolor, 1910 This was Kandinsky’s first attempt at painting music. What does abstract mean?
Kandinsky uses titles for his work like compositions, impressions and improvisations. What types of terms are these? Composition IV, 1911
In 1921 Kandinsky moved to Germany and taught art at the Bauhaus an innovative school of art and design. Many great artists learned and taught at the Bauhaus. In 1926, while teaching and living in Germany, Kandinsky wrote his second major book talking about his theories of art. The book was titled Point and Line to Plane. This painting, On White, was painted in 1923. What shapes do you see? Count how many shapes you see. Why do you think that this painting is titled On White?
Kandinsky felt that the circle was the most peaceful shape and represented the human soul.
Wassily Kandinsky Is credited with painting the first modern abstract works of art! Music, like abstract art, tries to express the inner feelings of the human soul. What does it mean to express? Why do you think Kandinsky is called an expressionist?
WASSILY KANDINSKY What do these shapes look like to you? Kandinsky didn’t particularly like black. Black to him meant the end of something. This is one of Kandinsky’s last paintings. Why do you think he used black?