Creative Cauldron - Wassily Kandinsky

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Artist inspiration and artist influences. No biographies, dates or scholarly research here - this is a personal response to the work of Wassily Kandinsky by Australian artist Fiona Morgan.

Gravitation 1935 - Wassily Kandinsky painting
Gravitation 1935

Wassily Kandinsky was a Russian painter who is generally credited with creating the first purely abstract art (in Western art) in 1910.  

Succession 1935 - Wassily Kandinsky painting
Succession 1935

His geometric abstractions were inspired by music, colour symbolism and psychology, and a deep need to express his inner emotional/spiritual world (nowdays known as abstract expressionism).

Composition VIII 1923 - Wassily Kandinsky painting
Composition VIII 1923

From Artchive, "His "inner necessity" to express his emotional perceptions led to the development of an abstract style of painting that was based on the non-representational properties of color and form. Kandinsky's compositions were the culmination of his efforts to create a "pure painting" that would provide the same emotional power as a musical composition."

Composition VII 1913 - Wassily Kandinsky painting
Compostion VII 1913

I have no interest in Kandinsky's work before he moved to abstracts. And there are some varieties of his abstracts that I really don't like, as in this Composition VII shown above, even though it is considered to be one of his masterpieces. So, so hideously busy, ugh. It still has his trademark visual balance though.

Gentle Ascent 1934 - Wassily Kandinsky painting
Gentle Ascent 1934

The works I prefer explore carefully balanced lines and shapes and colour, with plenty of space to breathe around them, a plain or sparse background. 

Blau 1922 - Wassily Kandinsky painting
Blau 1922

They are busy but uncluttered. They look both simple and complex. There are many small marks within big spaces. 

Tempered Elan 1944 - Wassily Kandinsky painting
Tempered Elan 1944

 There is a flow of line and colour. 

Several Circles 1926 - Wassily Kandinsky painting
Several Circles 1926

There is a sense of innocence or childlikeness. A feeling of musicality. A playfullness. I think this quality is important to me. It's also what I enjoy in the work of cartoonists.

Upward 1929 - Wassily Kandinsky painting
Upward 1929
They are precise, yet flow and balance, just so. He seems to have quite a command over his lines. They walk the tightrope of precision and freedom.

painting - Wassily Kandinsky painting

I remember seeing his work when I was in primary school. It had a huge impact on me. You could say it spoke to me. In adult language, it was the compositional balance that really hit me. I am still enthralled by his ability in this area. His art is just shapes and marks in colour and they are always so lopsided, quirky and visually perfectly balanced.

Bright Picture 1913 - Wassily Kandinsky painting
Bright Picture 1913

About the Creative Cauldron series of posts

Creative Cauldron - artistic influences & inspiration for Australian artist Fiona MorganThe Creative Cauldron series of posts explores and showcases the visual styles, techniques, attitudes, ideas, artists and paintings that have had the most impact on me. 

The rest of the series is accessible via the Creative Cauldron page. Have a meander if you please, and remember to check out my artworks on Flickr, and have an insider peek at life as an artist on Facebook.

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