Tuesday Art ATTACK- Wassily Kandinsky "Composition 7"

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kandinsky-composition-vii-1913Today marks Wassily Kandinsky's 148th birthday. The Russian painter was born December 16th in 1866 in the city of Moscow. During his younger years he found himself fascinated by color and had a interests in symbolism as well as physiology, interests that he would continue to cultivate into his adult years. Kandinsky finished school and became a law and economics teacher, but at the age of 30 he left his promising teaching position in order to pursue art. He applied to the Academy of Fine Arts in Moscow and was not accepted. Kandinsky decided to pursue his passion on his own terms. He studied other artists works and was especially taken by Monet's colors and emphasis on light. Later that year, when he felt that he was ready, he reapplied to the academy and was accepted. Kandinsky found art school to be relatively easy. Here he emerged as a great painter and an acclaimed art theorist. Many of his paintings during this time were depictions of extremely vibrant landscapes of the area surrounding his home. It was in this time period that he painted The Blue Rider, which was an extremely important painting in Kandinsky's early career helping elevate his status among his contemporaries. In 1922 Kandinsky was asked to teach a simple design class at the very influential Bauhaus school in Germany. He taught basic design principles along with color theory and he also conducted painting workshops. Here at the Bauhaus geometric elements and shapes began to become increasingly important to the painter/teacher. Kandinsky especially fell in love with the circle. In this period of time Kandinsky was extraordinarily productive creating many different pieces. At the school he built a relationship with many other artists and became part of the group know as Die Blaue Vieer or the Blue Four. Along side him in this collective were Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger, and Alexej von Jawlensky. The group exhibited several times and held lectures about their work and theories. In the following years with the Nazis rising in power the Bauhaus disbanded and Kandinsky left Germany and settled in Paris. While in Paris he worked out of his living room studio. His work now was a progression from what he had been turning out at the Bauhaus. Using non-geometric shapes and outlines coupled with dramatic scale shifts between the different shapes in the painting; all the while still filling his works with vibrant color. Here in Paris he would create his last major works, Composition IX and composition X. He lived out the rest of his life in Paris and died on the 13th of December in 1944 at the age of 78. Kandinsky opened many doors in the abstract world inspiring countless numbers of artists. He published several books on his artistic process and artistic theories. Not only did he push abstract painting but he helped push the theoretical and academic level of art at the time pushing the way we think and view art.

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