Wassily Kandinsky

Life Dates:
1866 – 1944
Artist Biography:
Wassily Kandinsky, whose birthplace was Moscow, Russia, studied law and economics before pursuing a career in the arts. He taught at the Bauhaus School of Art and Architecture in Germany until it was closed by the Nazi Party in 1933, after which he moved to France. He is most well-known for his large-scale, geometric-inspired abstracts involving dramatic lines and movement and bold color fields. Wassily Kandinsky (1886 - 1944) is considered to be the originator of abstract art, and believed that art could visually express musical compositions. Kandinsky, who was also an accomplished musician, saw color when he heard music, and associated a color’s tone with musical timbre, hue with pitch, and saturation with the volume of sound. Music influenced his art to such a degree that Kandinsky named his works after musical terms. Originally a lawyer in his native Russia, he was inspired to study art at age 30, after seeing Monet’s “Haystacks.” Kandinsky was gripped by a compulsion to relentlessly create, and believed that if this drive were pure, it would evoke a correspondingly powerful response in viewers of his work.