Wassily Kandinsky (Expressionism, Fauvism, & Early 20th Century)

Wassily Kandinsky (1866 -1944) was a Russian painter regarded as the pioneer of abstract modern art (*though later on, critics believed that female artist, Hilma af Klint, should claim the title instead). He was raised in an upper-class mixed-race family in Moscow and he began his art career around the age of 30. Since Kandinsky took many private music and art classes at an early age, he became extremely sensitive to sounds, words and colours. Perhaps this also had an effect on Kandinsky’s vision and style in visual art. While other expressionists of his time portray the imitation of reality with abstract forms, Kandinsky on the other hand, experimenting with simple geometric shapes.


The Blue Rider (1903)

The Blue Mountain (1908-09)

Early in his career, he was interested Monet’s Post-Impressionist style. As we can tell from his works, The Blue Rider (1903) and The Blue Mountain(1908-09), they evidently depict recognizable images of object and scenes. Nevertheless, as Kandinsky matured as an artist, his works evolved from portraying the slight imitation to the pure interpretation of the inner mind. In his Composition series, Kandinsky broke through the idea of “Art is the imitation of nature” and came up with a genre that represents the creative mind.


Composition VII (1913)

Composition VIII (1923)

I personally really like Kandinsky’s works. Even though most of his paintings do not illustrate concrete objects, the harmonious composition and the use of contrast with colours are aesthetically pleasing to look at. As someone who is passionate about music, his Composition VII (1913) and VIII (1923) make me associate the shapes to the idea of keyboards, rhythm and music scores. Despite the fact that the Composition series was produced 100 years ago, they are still quite fresh and modern and they don’t seem to look outdated!