Thursday, July 17, 2014

Life Expression - Composition "X" by Wassily Kandinsky

Wassily Kandinsky, the revolutionary artist that is credited with creating the first true abstract painting, had an interesting group of paintings called "Compositions." Although the first three in this series were lost in war, we are able to understand the entire series by the studies left behind in various mediums for the start of the Compositions. The ten works entitled Compositions stretched over four decades of work by the artist and shown his amazing growth towards his goal of being able to express his emotional perceptions through the media of art.

Composition X is immediately different from the other nine- if not solely for the background. In his earlier work, Wassily Kandinsky admitted that he viewed black as being close to death. Later in his work, he began to think of it as a mere stillness or a void of life. Before it was used to define the minority of the canvas but in his last work it helps enhance the color and form of the shapes found swimming it. Wassily Kandinsky has been long moving towards the idea of using shapes as modified representations of simple life forms.

The painting has clear motion as the little life forms swim up and outward. A particularly large one grows like a hot air balloon moving into infinite space. We can assume that this must be space by the look of the lunar like sphere on the left, shining out in the darkness. This lunar shape also helps express Wassily Kandinsky’s new found fondness for positive-negative relationships, shinning the harshest against the black background. Ironically, while it shows his progress forward it also shows us a fondness and return to his past. The figures swimming, recall Russian folk-art paper cut-outs.

By choosing to use the black as the dominant color, Wassily Kandinsky seems to have come full circle. Black is no longer the “inner sound of nothingness” but rather a fair background to allow his thoughts to move freely. Composition X was his final major art statement, but it allowed his development to come full circle, uniting his origins with all the wonderful experience of his life. It went beyond the trends of his time as futurism, cubism and all the work of his other contemporaries, showing his passion for expressing his innermost emotions. In his last statement his becomes to the microscopic in nature, the basic shapes of life that hold no singular meaning and yet compose everything around in brilliant color and pattern.

You have to love what he had to offer, an unmatched talent. Today you will find many young artists creating some fabulous canvas art, hopefully they will go down in history as great artists as well.

Wassily Kandinsky Project X