Wassily Kandinsky

Welcome to the world of Vassily Kandinsky (1866 – 1944), a revolutionary artist who transcended boundaries and changed the course of art history. From his early life in Moscow to his groundbreaking work in Europe, Kandinsky's journey is a testament to artistic evolution.

Early Life and Education
Born in Moscow in 1866 into a privileged and intellectually stimulating environment, Kandinsky was destined for greatness. His early education included learning German from his grandmother and mastering the piano, cello, and drawing.

In 1885, he took a different path and enrolled at Moscow State University to study Law and Economics. However, destiny had different plans for him.

The Artistic Awakening
At the age of 30, Kandinsky made a pivotal decision to abandon a promising teaching career and fully immerse himself in the world of art. He ventured to Munich, where he studied painting and co-founded the Phalanx Association with other Munich artists. This association was a direct challenge to the conservative views of the Academy and the Sezession.

Yellow-Red-Blue, 1925, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris

His relentless pursuit of artistic innovation led to the dissolution of the Phalanx Association in 1904 due to a lack of public support for their avant-garde spirit.

Artistic Evolution
Kandinsky's artistic journey was marked by collaboration and experimentation. He met German artist Gabriele Münter, who became his muse and mistress until 1914. Together, they explored Europe and North Africa, living in Paris for a year in 1906.

During this period, Kandinsky created impressionist landscapes, still under the influence of Monet and the Parisian art scene. However, his approach gradually shifted towards abstraction, with colors becoming increasingly autonomous.

The Blue Rider Movement
In 1910, Kandinsky co-founded the Blue Rider (Der Blaue Reiter) movement with artists such as August Macke, Franz Marc, and Gabriele Münter. This group continued to influence the art world until World War I erupted in 1914.

The Blue Rider (1903)

Worldly Travels
When World War I began, Kandinsky sought refuge in Switzerland and later returned to Moscow, where he remained until 1921. In Russia, he played a pivotal role in shaping the country's cultural landscape, contributing to art education and museum reform.

During this period, he also delved into theoretical work, authoring "Point and Line to Plane," published in 1926. Though he painted less during these years, he focused on drawing and works on paper due to material constraints.

Bauhaus and Exile
In 1921, Kandinsky's life took a new turn as he accepted a teaching position at the Bauhaus under the leadership of Walter Gropius. His nationality stripped, he later moved to Paris as a stateless person.

It wasn't until 1939, just before the outbreak of World War II, that he became a French citizen. Kandinsky continued his artistic journey, residing in Neuilly-sur-Seine with his wife until his passing in 1944.