I was curious as to why this looks so different than others on this wall.
It was chosen to show the different kind of styles of paintings that was made in Eastern Europe during the early 20th century. Unlike many of the other works on display, Kandinsky’s painting is geometric and brightly colored, with abstract forms floating in limitless space. By the early 20th century, many avant-garde artists wanted to show their radical beliefs not by depicting politically subversive subject matter in a realistic way (like Vasily Vereshchagin’s giant paintings of the Russo-Turkish War on the left) but rather by expressing their emotions through evocative brushwork and vivid color. While living in Germany from 1896 to 1914, Kandinsky was the leader of one such group of artists called the Bleu Reiter. (His paintings then were very painterly and fluid.) When Kandinsky returned to Russia in 1914 due to the outbreak of WWI, he encountered Russian Suprematism, a radical art movement that was less interested in expressing personal feeling than in transforming art and society by painting pure geometric forms. Although at the time Kandinsky stuck to his more expressive style, by the late 1920s, back in Germany, he incorporated precise lines and geometric shapes into his artistic vocabulary. He was influenced in this by his colleagues at the Bauhaus, an innovative German art school that focused on applied arts, craft, and architecture. For Kandinsky, however, these forms were not mechanical but symbolic of deep spiritual meanings, theories which he described in his many published books on art.
This was a pleasant surprise on the 3rd floor. It really stands out among the other works in this space.
This one dates to his Bauhaus period. It is interesting to consider the balance of the sun and moon on either side of that geometric figure.
Wonderful, I see you're looking at Kandinsky's painting "Stubborn," one of my favorites! Many people believe that Kandinsky was a synesthete. Are you familiar with that term?
No, could you explain it?
Synesthesia is a condition in which a person has a difficult time distinguishing between his or her senses, so color could have a smell or a taste could have a color.
Kandinsky has said about painting,
"Music expresses itself by sounds, painting by colors." And, he attributed certain sounds to specific colors, so blue, to him, could "descend" deep down; light blue is comparable to a flute, a cello when it is darker, and a double bass when even darker and finally the organ at its deepest. And yellow could "ascend" to high heights unbearable to the eye, just as a trumpet can be played higher and higher "giving pain to the ear and spirit".
That's really interesting, thank you so much!
You're welcome! I hope it helped you "hear" this piece. Please send along any other questions or curiosities you have.