Tuesday, 15 December 2015


THE COW by Wassily Kandinsky - 1910
(Васи́лий Васи́льевич Канди́нский)
pronounced [vaˈsʲilʲɪj kɐnˈdʲinskʲɪj]

Born in Moscow, 16 December [O.S. 4 December] 1866  was an influential Russian painter and art theorist. He is credited with painting the first solely abstract works. Kandinsky spent his childhood in the port of Odessa. He studied law and economics at the University of Moscow and became so successful at this profession that he was offered the professorship of Roman Law at the University of Dorpat. 

In 1896 Kandinsky moved to Munich, Germany and took up painting studies (life-drawing, sketching and anatomy). He studied first at Anton Ažbe's private school and then at the Academy of Fine Arts. Kandinsky founded the group Der Blue Reiter, and my favourite artist, Franz Marc was a member, so naturally I've studied Kandinskys early abstract work. I love colour so I enjoy Kandinskys work. It is very interesting to follow his ten year progression into abstract, which is somewhat like the journey I am currently on.

After the outbreak of World War I in 1914, he returned to Moscow, but disagreed with official communist art ideals and returned to Germany in 1921. Kandinsky taught at the Bauhaus school of art and architecture from 1922 until it was closed in 1933. Escaping the politics of the time, he moved to France and became a citizen in 1939. 

I don't enjoy Kandinskys later works as much as his vibrant early abstracts. I don't blame Kandinsky for becoming more cautious and hard edged in his work as he aged. He lived his life in turbulent times which deeply affected most people that experienced them. Kandinsky was a scholar with a brilliant mind whose theories continue to echo in contemporary art. If you are interested in abstract theories, his writing is well worth studying.

He died at Neuilly-sur-Seine 13 December 1944.