4.Considering Colour : Wassily Kandinsky
Being regareded as the first few international vanguard artists who experimented with abstraction in the early years of the 20th century, the Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky was also the co-founder of the Munich group of artists called ‘Der Blaue Reiter’. He has a disctinctive style of painting, he once said , ‘Objects damage pictures.’, that most of his artwork is directly related to his senses and feeligns such as music and sound, instead of making art to depict objects. Born in 1866 in Moscow, Kandinsky spent his childhood in Odessa. His art talent could be found since he was a child as he was being fascinated and stimulated by colour in an early age. This evolutionary process was stimulated by many sources: His interests in theosophy, occultism, and mysticism, his speical sensitivity to music and visual stimuli, and his Russian background etc. He learnt fom various teachers, Anton Azbe and Franz von Stuck etc., where he learned the importance of attention to essentials at the expense of detail, and applying colour to achieve dramatic effects. He began teaching in the first Art school in Germany - Bauhaus, but unfortunately was taken down by the Nazis as art was being regarded as degenerate. That didn’t change Kandinsky’s determination to do art. In his decision to become an artist, Kandinsky was prompted by two aesthetic and emotional experiences that would fundamentally affect his future. The first was viewing an exhibition of French Impressionists in Moscow in 1896, where his attention was attracted to a Monet Haystack painting. It was while looking at the Monet, he realized how a picture can hold the viewer’s attemtion even if the subject is not defined. It was the combinations of colour and form that elicited in him the first emotional response.
Kandinsky is well-known for applying luminous, radiant and very bright colour in random places. He sought a form of painting that speaks for itself, the color that he wanted to speak, also he understood that the color had the power to convey feeling and emotion of the artist. Such as ‘Improvisation 26 (Rowing)’ (1912). This oil on canvas painting consists of few random patches of bright colour and few geometrical lines, and some curves and circles. Although the randomness structure of the painting, there is a context behind all this. There are two shadowy figures in the boat and the dark lines of the long oars, seeming to sink into a sea of colour.
Kandinsky often called his paintings and watercolours simply Composition, Yellow-Red-Blue or Little Worlds. This painting used alot of vigourous colours, like Red, Yellow, Green and Blue. Kandinsky suggested that Yellow is an earthly colour of liveliness, while Blue is a heavenly colour, representing purity and infinity. This coloring technique was inspired by the village that Kandinsky once lived in. The red roofs, gleaming white churches and green fields under a brilliantly blue sky, seems to have reminded Kandinsky of the colours of his childhood. People, towers, fir trees, hills and churches sink into a pure ‘realm of colour’. ‘Patches’ like this crop up frequently in Kandinsky’s work. When Kandinsky thought back, it was the colours in Munich inspired him the most. He once said, ‘The sun melts the whole of Moscow into a single patch of colour: pistachio green, flamed red houses, churches-each colour a song in its own right.’
Music becomes an important and biggest element in Kandinsky’s work, most of his work are based on his feelings toward music and sound. Kandinsky created compositions, as many of his pictues are called, from shapes and colours: they are intended to sound harmonious or dramatic, like a piece of music that makes us feel a particular emotion, but by using lines, geometrcal figures or patches of colur instead of notes. ‘The color is the key. The eye is the hammer. The soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that, by touching this or that key,...
Bibliography: 50 artists you should know about (By Thomas Koster with contrubutions by Lars Roper)
Kandinsky compositions (By Magdalena Dabrowoski)
Please join StudyMode to read the full document