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The Art Story Homepage Artists Wassily Kandinsky
Wassily Kandinsky Photo

Wassily Kandinsky

Russian Painter

Movements and Styles: Expressionism, Bauhaus, Der Blaue Reiter

Born: December 4, 1866 - Moscow, Russia

Died: December 13, 1944 - Neuilly-sur-Seine, France

Wassily Kandinsky Timeline

"Of all the arts, abstract painting is the most difficult. It demands that you know how to draw well, that you have a heightened sensitivity for composition and for colors, and that you be a true poet. This last is essential."

Wassily Kandinsky Signature

Summary of Wassily Kandinsky

One of the pioneers of abstract modern art, Wassily Kandinsky exploited the evocative interrelation between color and form to create an aesthetic experience that engaged the sight, sound, and emotions of the public. He believed that total abstraction offered the possibility for profound, transcendental expression and that copying from nature only interfered with this process. Highly inspired to create art that communicated a universal sense of spirituality, he innovated a pictorial language that only loosely related to the outside world, but expressed volumes about the artist's inner experience. His visual vocabulary developed through three phases, shifting from his early, representational canvases and their divine symbolism to his rapturous and operatic compositions, to his late, geometric and biomorphic flat planes of color. Kandinsky's art and ideas inspired many generations of artists, from his students at the Bauhaus to the Abstract Expressionists after World War II.

Key Ideas

Painting was, above all, deeply spiritual for Kandinsky. He sought to convey profound spirituality and the depth of human emotion through a universal visual language of abstract forms and colors that transcended cultural and physical boundaries.
Kandinsky viewed non-objective, abstract art as the ideal visual mode to express the "inner necessity" of the artist and to convey universal human emotions and ideas. He viewed himself as a prophet whose mission was to share this ideal with the world for the betterment of society.
Kandinsky viewed music as the most transcendent form of non-objective art - musicians could evoke images in listeners' minds merely with sounds. He strove to produce similarly object-free, spiritually rich paintings that alluded to sounds and emotions through a unity of sensation.
Detail of Serbian stamp commemorating 150 years since Wassily Kandinsky's birth
Detail of Serbian stamp commemorating 150 years since Wassily Kandinsky's birth

Modernist abstraction could not have asked for a more charismatic and visionary theorist than Kandinsky - the highest ideals he pursued through his many travels and friendships.

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Wassily Kandinsky
Interactive chart with Wassily Kandinsky's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
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Artists

Paul CézannePaul Cézanne
Claude MonetClaude Monet

Personal Contacts

Paul KleePaul Klee
Franz MarcFranz Marc
Walter GropiusWalter Gropius
Arnold SchoenbergArnold Schoenberg

Movements

Post-ImpressionismPost-Impressionism
FauvismFauvism
CubismCubism
ExpressionismExpressionism
Influences on Artist
Influences on Artist
Wassily Kandinsky
Wassily Kandinsky
Years Worked: 1900 - 1944
Influenced by Artist
Influenced by Artist

Artists

William BaziotesWilliam Baziotes
Arshile GorkyArshile Gorky
Hans HartungHans Hartung
Hans HofmannHans Hofmann

Personal Contacts

Solomon R. GuggenheimSolomon R. Guggenheim
Alexej von JawlenskyAlexej von Jawlensky

Movements

Action PaintingAction Painting
Color Field PaintingColor Field Painting
SurrealismSurrealism

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Content compiled and written by Eve Griffin

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Eve Griffin
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
Available from:
First published on 01 Feb 2013. Updated and modified regularly. Information
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