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Wassily Kandinsky Prints

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Wassily Kandinsky was considered as the leader of the avant-garde form of art and the founder (among others) of the “Abstract Art Movement” of early twentieth century.

Wassily Kandinsky was born on 16th December, 1866 in the city of Moscow. His father was a Mongolian and his mother was a Muscovite. His father was a businessman and Kandinsky spent a happy childhood living in Moscow and Odessa. He had learnt cello and piano and also took coaching for painting.

Kandinsky had an innate sense of colors; his childhood works reveal specific combinations of colors. He had written "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."

However Kandinsky never pursued art as a career in the initial years. Rather, he studied law from University of Moscow. He worked as a lecturer in the Law Faculty of Moscow and later as a Managing Director of a printing and publishing business. Finally he paid heed to his inner call and left Moscow to live in Munich and learn art. He graduated in Arts from the prestigious Art Academy of Munich.

Kandinsky founded an artistic school called “Falanga” in the year 1901. He started working on several paintings which reflected his impressions of Russo folk art and his vivid musical imagination. He developed his own style in painting where he gave importance to color series over formal details. One of his paintings “The Blue Rider” was actually a step towards creation of abstract art.

Kandinsky founded an artist’s group by the name “Der Blaue Reiter” which included artists like Alexej von Jawlensky, August Macke, and Paul Klee among other painters who followed Expressionism. This group held two major exhibitions in 1911 and in 1912. His sincere efforts led to the establishment of this movement: he not only chose artists but also collected and published their works in an almanac. He formulated several new ideas such as color therapy, spirituality infused art and the definition of painting autonomous color.

The First World War compelled him to go back to Russia, where he started teaching art in St. Petersburg and Moscow. He got married to Nina Andrievskaya in the year 1917. He also got involved in reformation of museums. His autobiographical work “Stupeni” (or Steps 1918) was also published during this time. He served as a Chairman of the “Russian Art Acquisitions Commission” and as a Vice President of “Russian Academy of Arts” from 1919 to 1921.

Kandinsky suffered several traumatic events during his stay in Russia – his young son died, his artistic approach was denounced as bourgeois, and his citizenship was taken back. Finally he escaped from Russia in 1921 and went to Weimar, Germany. There he joined Bauhaus movement which was an innovative art school. There he taught abstract painting, design and modern color theory.

When Nazis banned the Bauhaus in 1933, Kandinsky fled to Paris. And continued working there. He opened a studio in Paris which was visited by several young artists. He got international recognition from several exhibitions and Solomon Guggenheim from US became enthusiastic supporter of his works. He painted his achievements in a series of 7 large “Compositions”, which got international approval as a culmination of abstract style of art.

Wassily Kandinsky died on 13th December, 1944 in Paris in serene isolation.


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