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Wassily Kandinsky 1866 – 1944

Kandinsky was a Russian painter and Art Theorist, born in Moscow, the son of Lidia Ticheeva and Vasily Silvestrovich Kandinsky, a tea merchant. He is credited as being among several early pioneers of abstract art and one of the founding fathers of modern design. In 1896, he settled in Munich, where he taught at the famous Bauhaus school of Art and Architecture. It was there that he became aware of recent scientific developments and the advances of modern artists who had contributed to radically new ways of seeing and experiencing the world.

Some art historians suggest that Kandinsky's passion for Abstract art began when one day, coming back home, he found one of his own paintings hanging upside down in his studio. He stared at it for a while in fascination of the potential power of the abstraction. He experimented with color and line that reflected his intellectual curiosity. His love of music also played a large role in his paintings and was important to the advancement of Abstract art. He often used musical terms to identify his works. He titled his most spontaneous paintings, "improvisations" and described more elaborate works as "compositions." It was this aspect of his art that we looked at in class this week.

"Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul".


*The artist Gabriele Munter played a significant role in the life and art of Kandinsky’s early years and was instrumental in preserving a large body of his work during the war. The post about her influence and further background about Kandinsky is on the 2018 post :

Gabriele Münter 1877 – 1962 German (


We began the new series of classes with Kandinsky inspired Mixed Media Collages. Many artists study and are inspired by music. This was especially true of Kandinsky's love of classical music and it's influence on his abstract works. With that in mind, we began by thinking of a song and translated the melody and rhythm into line . This formed the basis of the composition. Color and shapes were then added on top. The pieces turned out so individually creative and are a lovely homage to music.