1866-1944 Russian painter and musician.

Of all the 20th Century Painters he is considered one of the pioneers of abstract art. He spent his childhood in Italy, and his early work was carried out in Paris where he was influenced by Fauvism.

Originally he studied Law and social studies. Then, in 1895, he saw a show of French Impressionist paintings and was very taken by them. He left Russia to pursue his career in art.

In 1909, he became a founding member of Neue Künstlervereinigung which was related to Fauvism.

In 1912, he was a co-founder of the Blaue Reiter group which was a group associated with German Expressionism and Orphism.

In Russia (1914--21) he founded the Russian Academy and became head of the Museum of Modern Art. During this period, he was in contact with the Russian avant-garde, such as Kasimir Malevich. After the Bolshevik Revolution, he increasingly found his abstract style unpopular.

In 1922 he was offered a job teaching at the Bauhaus in Germany. Eventually he became the director of the entire school. There he met, and became friends with Walter Gropius, Josef Albers, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Lyonel Feininger and Paul Klee.

After he left Germany and the Nazis took over, they displayed some of his work in the infamous Entartete Kunst as an example of "decadent" art.

He moved to Paris in 1933, and became a naturalized French citizen in 1939. He had a great influence on young European artists.

He had work shown in the Armory Show 1913 in New York.

His work is held by museums all over the world, including:

Related:


Sources: Kostelanetz, Richard, "Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes", Schirmer Books, New York, 2000 Whitford, Frank, "Bauhaus", Thames and Hudson, London, 1984 Last Updated 12.30.03

In full, this fellow's name is Vasily Vasilyevich Kandinsky, but when he moved to Germany it was German-ized to Wassily. His style of art is considered a part of German Expressionism, and with his friend Franz Marc, created Der Blaue Reiter, or The Blue Rider as a school of art. The name came from the entirely random fact that they both liked the color blue and horses.

Der Blaue Reiter was a lot more abstract than the other school of German Expressionism, Die Brucke (the bridge). While Die Brucke focused on the distortion of color in otherwise representational works to create an emotional response in the viewer, Der Blaue Reiter stepped almost entirely away from representation in preference to a deliberate 'orchestration' of color, form, line, and space. These ideals were expounded in his 1912 treatise "Concerning the Spiritual in Art"

Kandinsky was an accomplished musician, and often considered his paintings to be a visual representation of music. Many of the works he created were simply entitled "Improvisation" or "Composition", followed by a number. He once claimed that he heard notes of music simply by looking at colors. The color black, for instance, was "like the silence of the body after death, the close of life."

A quote of his concerning the instrumental nature of his art follows. "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."

A decent webpage showcasing several of his works and which proved immensely helpful to me while preparing for my Art History Final (and in creating this node) can be found at:
http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/kandinsky/

Most of my other information was gathered from my Art History teacher and the textbook Gardner's Art Through The Ages, eleventh edition.

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