In high school, I experimented with many different watercolor techniques. At one point I was very frustrated with representational art and just put on my music and painted the sounds, in a way it was inspired by synesthesia. Wassily Kandinsky was a famous Russian artist who had synesthesia; the ability to hear color and see sound. As Kandinsky once said; “Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, and the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.”
Raised and educated classically in Italy, Wassily Kandinsky was born in Moscow on December 4th, 1866. He moved to Italy when he was 3. Although he had an interest in art from childhood, it wasn’t until 1901 that his personal career as an artist. One of his first paintings was The Isar near Grosshessolohe Painted in 1901 this painting illustrates Kandinsky’s passion for color and the magic of fairytales. Like The Isar near Grosshessolohe, most of Kandinsky’s early works have a fantastical edge to them.
Slowly over the next 10 years, Kandinsky transitioned to abstract art, via some of the ideals of the Italian futurists. Kandinsky tried to incorporate movement into the picture and make the picture itself something in motion.
Murnau. Garden, 1909
Glass Painting with the Sun (Small Pleaseures), 1910
Eventually, Kandinsky eliminated everything from the paintings but the movement itself. Neither object nor subject matter was necessary any longer. A year after his delve into abstraction, Kandinsky’s divorce with his first wife and cousin Anja Chimiakin was finalized. Their marriage lasted 19 years. Six years later in 1917 Kandinsky married his second wife Nina Andreewsky. Their marriage lasted until his death on December 13th 1944.
Other than Kandinsky’s “synesthesia” one of my favorite aspects of his art was the transition over time. How when seen together as a collection it is possible to see how his art changed over time.
Painting with White Border, 1913
Brion, Marcel. Kandinsky. London, Oldbourne Press: 1961. Print
Kandinsky, Wassily, and Elsa Smithgall. Kandinsky and the Harmony of Silence: Painting with White Border. Washington, DC: Phillips Collection, 2011. Print.
Roethel, Hans K. Kandinsky. New York, Hudson Hills Press INC: 1979. Print.
"Wassily Kandinsky - Painting 1896 - 1944." Wassily Kandinsky. Web. 26 Feb. 2012 <http://www.wassilykandinsky.net/painting1896-1944.php>.