Wassily Kandinsky - part 1

Wassily Kandinsky (1866 – 1944) was born in 1866 in Moscow. Between 1886 and 1892 he studied law and economics at the University of Moscow, where he lectured after graduation. In 1896 he declined a teaching position in order to study art in Munich with Anton Azbe from 1897 to 1899 and at the Kunstakademie with Franz von Stuck in 1900. Kandinsky taught between 1901 and 1903 at the art school of the Phalanx, a group he co-founded in Munich. One of his students, Gabriele Münter, would be his companion until 1914. In 1902 Kandinsky exhibited for the first time with the Berlin Secession and produced his first woodcuts. In 1903 and 1904 he began his travels in Italy, the Netherlands, and North Africa and his visits to Russia. He exhibited at the Salon d’Automne in Paris from 1904.

In 1909 Kandinsky was elected president of the newly founded Neue Künstlervereinigung München (NKVM). The group’s first show took place at Heinrich Thannhauser’s Moderne Galerie in Munich in 1909. In 1911 Kandinsky and Franz Marc began to make plans for Der Blaue Reiter Almanac, although the publication would not appear until the following year. Kandinsky’s On the Spiritual in Art was published in December 1911. He and Marc withdrew from the NKVM in that month, and shortly thereafter the Blaue Reiter group’s first exhibition was held at the Moderne Galerie. In 1912 the second Blaue Reiter show was held at the Galerie Hans Goltz, Munich. Kandinsky’s first solo show was held at Der Sturm gallery in Berlin in 1912. In 1913 one of his works was included in the Armory Show in New York and the Erste deutsche Herbstsalon at the Der Sturm gallery in Berlin. Kandinsky lived in Russia from 1914 to 1921, principally in Moscow, where he held a position at the People’s Commissariat of Education.

Kandinsky began teaching at the Bauhaus in Weimar in 1922. In 1923 he was given his first solo show in New York by the Société Anonyme, of which he became vice-president. Lyonel Feininger, Alexej Jawlensky, Kandinsky, and Paul Klee made up the Blaue Vier (Blue Four) group, formed in 1924. He moved with the Bauhaus to Dessau in 1925 and became a German citizen in 1928. The Nazi government closed the Bauhaus in 1933 and later that year Kandinsky settled in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris; he acquired French citizenship in 1939. Fifty-seven of his works were confiscated by the Nazis in the 1937 purge of “degenerate art.” Kandinsky died on December 13 1944 in Neuilly-sur-Seine.

This is part 1 of a 4-part post on the works of Wassily Kandinsky. The works are shown in chronological order:

1901 Poster for First Phalanx Exhibition

1901 The Isar near Grosshessolohe oil on canvas 32.5 x 23.6 cm

1903 Bride, Russian Beauty

1903 Gabriele Munter Painting oil on canvas 58.5 x 58.5 cm

1903 Waldrand oil on board 23.8 x 32.8 cm

1904 Beach Baskets In Holland oil on cardboard 24 x 32.6 cm

1904 In the Forest 26 x 19.8 cm

1905 Arab City tempera on board 67.3 x 99.5 cm

1905 Portrait of Gabriele Münter oil on canvas

1905 Rapallo-Grauer Day oil on board 24 x 33 cm

1905 Rapallo, Boats oil on board 24 x 33 cm

1906 Park of St Cloud

1906 Rotterdam Sun oil on canvas

1906 Saint-Cloud, Paris oil on board 24 x 33 cm

1906-07 Couple Riding oil on canvas 55 x 50.5 cm

1907 Colourful Life tempera on canvas

1908 Ahtyrka. Red Church

1908 Autumn Landscape with Boats oil on board 71 x 96.5 cm

1908 Autumn Study near Oberau oil on cardboard 32.8 x 44.5 cm

1908 Autumn near Murnau oil on board 32.3 x 40.9 cm

1908 Houses in Munich oil on cardboard 33 x 41 cm

1908 Houses in Murnau on Obermarkt oil on cardboard 33 x 41 cm

1908 Lake Starnberg oil on board 63 x 97.5 cm © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2002

1908 Munich-Schwabing With The Church Of St. Ursula 68.8 x 49 cm

1908 Murnau. Landscape with a Tower oil on canvas 75.5 x 99.5 cm

1908 Riegsee. The Village Church oil on canvas 33 x 45 cm

1908 View of Murnau

1908 White Sound oil on board 70 x 70 cm

1908-09 Blue Mountain oil on canvas 106 x 96.6 cm © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

1909 A Mountain oil on canvas 109 x 109 cm

1909 Cemetery and Vicarage in Kochel oil on cardboard

1909 Fate. Domes oil on canvas 83 x 116 cm

1909 Grungasse In Murnau oil on cardboard 33 x 44.6 cm

1909 Houses at Murnau oil on cardboard 49 x 64 cm © 2008 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

1909 Improvisation 3

1909 Improvisation 6 (African) oil on canvas 107 x 99.5 cm

1909 Interior (My Dining Room) oil on cardboard

1909 Murnau View With Railway And Castle oil on cardboard 36 x 49 cm

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