In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a significant transformation occurred in the world of painting, primarily in France. This shift was driven by the changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution and the liberalization of societal norms during the modern era. Various art movements emerged during this period, including Impressionism, Pointillism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Surrealism, and Abstract Art. During this time, artists evolved from mere observers to active participants in shaping modern society through their work. The creations of these visionary painters, who played a pivotal role in defining modern painting, are now highly sought after in the art market.
The advent of Abstract Art, characterized by non-representational forms, occurred just before World War I. Artists like Vasily Kandinsky, Robert Delaunay, Sonia Delaunay, and Kazimir Malevich pioneered this movement. The second wave of abstract art saw the emergence of artists such as Serge Poliakoff and Nicolas de Staël.
Born in Moscow in 1866 and passing away in France in 1944, Kandinsky is regarded as one of the most exceptional artists of the 20th century, standing alongside Picasso and Matisse. His art journeyed through various avant-garde movements, influenced by the modernity and expressionism of his contemporaries and artistic companions.
Abstract art gained significant popularity after World War II, with Kandinsky continuing to be a prominent figure.
Kandinsky’s work often blurs the line between abstraction and representation. In his compositions, you may perceive shapes that resemble figures, a horse, or even a rider, although these forms are not clearly defined. This ambiguity is crucial in Kandinsky’s art, as it harks back to the rural paintings he encountered in the Church of Monö. One of the most significant influences on his work was the image of Saint George slaying the dragon, which resonates in his depictions.
Wassily Kandinsky’s painted Composition IV in 1910. It depicts a woman standing in the middle of an abstract field of color, with her back turned to us and her arms spread out as if she were embracing all that surrounds her.
This painting was created in 1911 and is oil on canvas. The work currently belongs to the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, where it is considered one of Kandinsky’s most important works. The painting depicts the artist’s wife, Nina Kandinsky (1884–1944), who wears a black dress with violet flowers.
The composition is divided into two distinct parts: an upper section that features a flowery patterned background against which sits a figure wearing red clothes; and below this area, a turbulent yellow mass that takes up most of the canvas space and represents the artist himself.
Composition VII is the seventh in his series of abstract works with the same title, painted in 1923 and produced at a time when he turned away from pure abstraction to focus on figurative work.
Yellow Red Blue, also known as Composition VII, was painted in 1910. This piece of art is currently held by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
The painting consists of three colored shapes: yellow (top left), red (top right) and blue (bottom). The yellow shape appears to be slightly curved or rounded at its edges while the red and blue shapes appear as straight lines with sharp corners. The overall impression given by this work is one of lightness and movement due to how these simple geometric forms interact with one another on canvas.