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Vasíli Kandinski

Vasíli Kandinski biography
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Vasíli Kandinski biography

Vasíli Kandinski (December 4, 1866 – December 13, 1944), Russian plastic artist. He was born in Moscow, Russia. His family was of high status, his father Vasíli Silvéstrovich Kandinsky served as kyakhta tea merchant, his father’s mother was part of the Mongol aristocracy and was part of the Gantimúrov dynasty. Lydia Ivanovna Tijieyeva, his mother, was from Moscow. His family always tried to give Kandinsky the best, he went to prestigious schools and had private piano and cello teachers, art was always very important to him. When he entered youth he began his studies of Law and Economic Sciences at the University of Moscow; there he also studied ethnography. These studies alternated them with drawing and painting classes.

When he finished his studies, he decided in 1892 to marry his cousin Anna Chemyákina, until in 1904, due to complex differences, they divorced. A year after being married, he took the position of associate professor in the Faculty of Law. In 1896 he understood that his satisfaction was in art, and the University of Tartu offered him a vacancy as a professor and rejected it to devote himself fully to art. It is necessary to indicate, that he was driven by an exhibition he attended on the Impressionists in Moscow; where he delighted with the works of Claude Monet and the representation of Lohengrin by Richard Wagner at the Bolshoi theater.

To that extent, he moved to Munich with the intention of studying painting, initially, he was not admitted to the Art Academy. So, he studied temporarily at the private academy of Anton Ažbe. He made another attempt to be admitted to the Academy of Art, succeeding in 1900. At the Academy met influential teachers in his career, for example, his teacher Franz von Stuck, who taught him great techniques for painting in shades of gray. After that, he decided to take a trip to several places in the countries of Europe that lasts a few years. When he returned, he decided to adopt his chromatic abundance style and the simplicity of the forms.

His style was taking a tendency to abstract art. In 1911, he thought about founding a team of artists to promote and organize various art exhibitions in Munich and Berlin, initially. For this reason, he contacted his colleagues August Macke and Franz Marc, founding then Der Blaue Reiter. At the time of the outbreak of the First World War, he was forced to return to his place of origin; there he will be responsible for organizing various activities of the Department of Fine Arts of the Popular Commissariat of Education. As a result, Der Blaue Reiter had to freeze his projects for a while until they settled in Dessau in 1925.

To stabilize somewhat the German situation, Wassily Kandinsky decided to go back in the twenties to join the prestigious School of the Bauhaus, one of the academies craft, art, design, and most emblematic architectural history and most important XX century, as a teacher, until the Nazi policies issued its closure in 1933, arguing that this institution showed a clear socialist and Jewish tendency, many of its members were persecuted, they should flee to those countries where Nazism not dominated

However, while Vasíli Kandinski exercised his teaching profession he left a very important legacy in the art world: he was responsible for the professionalization of industrial design and graphic design. In addition, another of his contributions to the art world was to determine the bases of modern architecture and also the establishment of a new aesthetic pattern in various aspects of art. Feeling the German atmosphere full of hostility, he embarked on a new direction to the French country, where he spent the rest of his life. While in France, he began to focus on abstract art; artistic tendency that excludes figuration in its creation, in other words, there is no place for real spaces, objects, and landscapes, among others; meanwhile, shapes, colors, and lines predominate, which will form a completely independent visual language and a different reality.

Then Vassily Kandinsky, abstract art to master decided to innovate and enter a special branch of this trend: lyrical abstraction, this is a branch of abstract art that emerged from the year 1910. The basic characteristic of this artistic proposal is the purest emotional manifestation of the artist through painting, that is, serves to represent personal and immediate emotion and does not give rise to objective representation but subjective. Some of Kandinsky’s works that are part of this line are Impression No. 5, Black Arch, Composition VIII, Unstable Composition and Conglomerate. The most used technique is watercolor, although they also used oil, gracias to that the color is always preponderant on the form.

Apart from being considered one of the most outstanding in abstract art and lyrical abstraction; also, Vasíli Kandinski is considered a precursor of expressionism, at the time, this movement was an authentic vanguard, which was characterized basically by heterogeneity. In other words, it was not a style with specific and uniform characteristics but, on the contrary, it contained different tendencies and different artists that tried to give a different touch to each work, thanks also to its different formations.

In that sense, Expressionists defended and promoted a personal art in which the internal vision of the artist prevails. The fundamental characteristics of his works were the invented forms, the colors combined in the most complex way possible, the geometric signs and the Slavic ornamentation, a faithful exponent of it was Paul Klee. Also, it should be noted that Kandinsky as art theorist was a promoter of this trend and this has been expressed in several literary works of his authorship, such as: Of the spiritual in art, Der Blaue Reiter’s Almanac, Point and line on the plane.

Vasíli Kandinski died on December 13, 1944, at the age of 77 in Neuilly Sur Seine, a suburban area of ​​Paris. The death was caused by arteriosclerosis, which then caused a stroke. Unfortunately, his legacy began to be recognized some years after his death, so, in life, he did not get the great recognition he deserved.

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