Wassily KANDINSKY (1866-1944)

Other possible identifications: after, attributed, manner

Wassily Kandinsky is a Moscow-born painter who died in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. Pioneer of abstract art in the 1910s, he perceives the possibility of a pure painting according to “the primary color values”.

In 1911, he formes the Blue Rider group with Franz Marc and publishes Concerning “the spiritual in art”, the first theoretical writing on abstraction. He then paints what is considered the first non-figurative watercolor of Modern Art, contrasting with his first landscapes in the Impressionist style. Shortly after, he starts his series of tumultuous lyric “improvisations”, and begins “compositions” that are distinguished by their symphonic richness and their deeply meditated nature. He teaches at the Vkhutemas school in Moscow and the Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau between 1922 and 1933 and developes the principles he shares in “Point and Line to Plane” in 1926. He is closer of the free creation of Paul Klee, longtime friend and also professor at the Bauhaus, than Malevitch. Emigrating to Paris from 1933, his palette becomes clearer and his brushes give birth to a whole set of geometric and ornamental patterns, floating and unreal figures, under the influence of Arp and Miro. A true forerunner for modern art, Kandinsky is one of the first to explore the path of abstraction. His works are naturally among the most expensive in the genre: in 2018, “Bild mit weissen linien” (Painting with white lines), 1913 reached $ 42 million at Sotheby’s London.

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