Vassilij Kandinskij


Born in Moscow, he studied law and economics, but he was able to expand the boundaries of his cultural education by dealing with ethnography, theater, literature, music and traveling in Europe and the East. 

In 1897 he went to Munich and after being in contact with the fervent artistic universe of the city (he was a pupil of Franz von Stuck) he decided to devote himself to painting. It was precisely his reflection on the “form” of musical symphonies that led Kandinsky to the creation of the First Abstract Watercolor (dated 1910, but made in 1913, now preserved at the Centre Pompidou in Paris), the work that initiated the artistic current of non-geometric abstractionism. The composition is characterized by a set of multicolored shapes freely scattered throughout the space of the sheet of paper and represents a free and pure need for expression. 

On an invitation of Walter Gropius, he joined the group of teachers at the Bauhaus in Weimar in 1922, an experience he would continue until 1933, when the famous art school was closed by National Socialism. Kandinsky conducted an intense teaching activity characterized by great freedom and bonded in particular with Swiss painter Paul Klee. Kandinsky’s goals included teaching students to penetrate into the essence of things, to understand the values of abstraction, but also the role of color in light of recent assumptions in the psychology of perception. To this period dates the publication of an important essay, Point Line and Surface from whose theories is directly linked the work in the Carlon Collection, Dumpf-Klar (1928). The canvas expresses the importance of point and line as the intrinsic core of the work of art. The line is, in fact, nothing more than a continuously moving point and represents the dynamic element within the image. In our case, the line is depicted in several different types: curved, straight, broken, eliciting different visual effects and different emotional tensions. In the orderly and rhythmic arrangement of the elements and the vertical format, the work seems to recall Japanese kakemono art. 

In 1937 a number of Kandinsky’s works were exhibited at the degenerate art exhibition organized by Adolf Hitler’s regime. The artist died in France, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, in 1944, where he had spent the last ten years of his life.