Kandinsky (1866, Moscow - 1944, Paris) was a pioneer of the abstract. He used mainly oil on canvas, paint on glass, watercolours and woodcuts to express his art. Even though he was born in Russia he spend most of his life in Germany, but also lived in Russia and France.
His auntie made him take music and art lessons from a young age and he studied Law and Economy at university and later painting. His artistic beginnings were mainly landscapes where he looked closely at nature and Germanic- Slavic folk art and fairy tales which inspired him to his woodcuts. Being born in Moscow, many elements of his inspiration still stem from Russia and are carried into his works.
His road down to the abstract is a slow and consistent one as Kandinsky starts with studies of how nature looks like but he never seems to want to actually replicate it, he takes the shapes and colours and forms them into a painting which resembles nature in some ways, but doesn’t look like it. Over the run of the years his paintings move further away from the original scenes and he takes the shapes but puts them together in a completely different order, adds colour a bit more sparingly and lets the background colour of the canvas shine through a lot.
When he joins the Bauhaus, which mainly concentrates on architecture and objects that have multiple uses or at least have their usefulness maximised, he pushes his style further towards rigid forms with colours assigned to forms, and they hardly ever mix or go over the lines.
A theme that is presented throughout his life is his desire to draw music, which he achieves by using wavy and smooth lines for calm music and rigid straight lines with pointy corners for blasty, loud and sudden parts of a piece.
In 1911 he founds a group called “Blaue Reiter” with Franz Marc and he is the first artist to have a one – man exhibition which takes place in Munich. He is a professor at the Bauhaus (the higher school of construction and art designing) in Berlin and later Dessau after it has to move because of the Nazi movement.
Being a theorist as well as professor and artist he writes the pieces “Concerning the Spiritual in Art” (Über das Geistige in der Kunst, 1910) and “Point and Lane to Plane” (Punkt und Linie zu Flaeche, 1926), both originals are written in German.
His late works mostly consist of precise, geometrical forms inspired by Bauhaus and in 1933 he moves to Paris, where he lives until his death in 1944.