Sunday, November 20, 2016

Module One, Chapter 13, Kandinsky

Vasily Kandinsky is one of my favorite artists.  This isn’t just because of his revolutionary creativity but more because he did not focus on art until late in life and still had such a lasting influence on artists decades later.  He was born in 1866 in Moscow and studied law and economics.  It was not until he was thirty and visited Paris that he was so inspired that he quit law to become an artist.  He moved to  Munich, a center for experimental art.  Another thing that is very interesting about Kandinsky, and many artists of that time, was their involvement in more organized art movements, from Phalanx, to Neue Kunstler Vereingigung (New Artist Association), which also included Franz Marc.  It was during this period that Kandinsky began exploring nonobjective painting and become the “father of abstract painting”.  In 1911, Kandinsky, Marc, and several other artists formed Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Riders).  

Also in 1911, Kandinsky wrote a book called Concerning the Spiritual in Art.  He was studying the “dematerialization” of the object in art and felt that art should represent the spiritual rather than the material and mirrored the music of the time.  He began naming his paintings “composition”, Improvisation” and such.

With the beginning of World War one, Kandinsky moved back to Russia and did not return to Germany until 1921 when he joined the faculty at Bauhaus.  It was during this period that his work moved to more geometric abstraction.  He also wrote a textbook, Point and Line to Plane. His work of this period lines, and curving shapes with defined edges, as in Composition VIII (below).

Composition VIII, 1923 -  Wassily Kandinsky
Kandinsky moved to Paris in 1933, where is work is influenced by other artists such as Miro and Arp and the Surrealists.  Kandinsky died in 1944.  I love learning about Kandinsky and his artist path.  Although his Blue Rider period is my favorite, I love the way he continued to grow 
and change with the times.  He didn’t try to “say” something in his art, but to make the viewer feel. 

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