Kandinsky Wassily

Kandinsky was a Russian born painter, born in Moscow. In 1896, aged 30, he went to Munich to study art. In 1901 he founded the “Phalanx” group. The main purpose of which was to introduce advanced French painting to the “backward” Munich. The French were experimenting with new ideas such as cubism. Kandinsky and the other members of the Phalanx felt they had to introduce these experiments into the Munich artistic society. In 1911, Kandinsky became involved in “Der Blaue Reiter” (The Blue Rider) named after one of his paintings. His preferences during this period were violent and apocalyptic.

One piece demonstrating this is the “Improvisation 26” of 1912 shown on my final piece. This piece gives the impression of an explosion. The black lines coming from the centre to the edge looks to me like something symbolic of flying across the piece. I will come back to “Improvisation 26” later. Kandinsky became interested in theosophy. Theosophy is selecting the best parts of a religion and manipulating them to suit ones ends. Kandinsky was definitely influenced by theosophy when his book “On the Spiritual in art”, published in 1912, he spoke of a new epoch of great spirituality.

Epoch meaning a period marked by special events). At the beginning of the First World War, Kandinsky returned to Russia. Later in Russia he resumed his activity as an abstract painter. After the 1917 “Bolshevik Coup”, Kandinsky was kept busy by administrative work, including the foundation of museums throughout Russia and attempted to reform the art school system. In 1918 Kandinsky became a member of the Fine Arts division of the Public Education Commission and in 1920 he became a professor at the University of Moscow. The Academy of Artistic Sciences was founded in 1921 by Kandinsky.

Kandinsky left Russia with his wife, Nina de Andreevsky, and went to live in Germany. In 1922 he began teaching at the Weimar Bauhaus. At this stage there were no painting classes. Kandinsky taught the foundation course, based on an investigation of the properties of form; this was the type of art education he had hoped to establish in Russia. When the Bauhaus was closed by the Nazis in 1933, Kandinsky went to live in Neuilly near Paris. At its best, his late work achieves an emotional force, through nonreferential means, genuinely analogous to music.

Kandinsky died in 1944. Below I have tried to recreate the effects Kandinsky created. Improvisation 26, 1912. This effect did not work. I wet the paper and used watery paint. Maybe thicker paint should be used or dry paper and watery paint. Also the colours used were too bright. Ziechen, 1925. This effect, I feel, did work. I used acrylic paints. I could improve the effect by dabbing the paint on instead of brushing. I think the colours possibly a bit too vibrant. The best effect I think I created is stuck onto my final piece. Mollesse dure, 1927.

These effects worked okay. “Dabbing” effect – (See final piece), I feel I tried to put too much paint in one area and the outcome was very dark. The colours needed to be whitened to be paler. The background for the recreation piece worked okay although the colours were slightly wrong. The dabs of paint were a bit too spaced out. “Brushed” effect – This effect worked well but the colours could be more distinctive in their shades. Below I have also tried to recreate the effect. Adhi?? rant, 1927. This effect didn’t work terribly well.

I tried on three occasions to copy it. The first time I put red on top and it was too watery and left the streaky marks. The second time I let the blue dry slightly and this left streaky blue marks. I also missed out the white band that is on the original. The third time wasn’t much better than the rest. The blue is patchy, the white isn’t very clear and the point at which the colours mix was too wet and didn’t streak very well although I did think it was slightly better than the rest so it is stuck to my final piece.

Black Spot, 1912. I think this effect worked well. The red colour is too “pinky” and I should use a deeper red. The black acrylic on my fist attempt (below) is not very evenly spread. I am going to look at Improvisation 26 in detail. A copy can be seen on the biography page of my final piece This piece was painted in 1926 and is very apocalyptic. Apocalyptic is of or resembling the apocalypse. The apocalypse is the end of the world. There are black lines going from the center to the edge of the piece.

These are symbolic of objects flying from somewhere possibly an explosion that could end the world and be apocalyptical. The paint used is watery and smudged. This could resemble speed. I mean, when an object travels extremely fast, it is hard to see it clearly and looks blurred. The painting could refer back to when his painting themes were very violent and apocalyptic and these originated from German and Russian folk art. The atmosphere is very lively and the colours quite bright. I am quite pleased with my work. There are a number of things I could do to improve my work.

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