Created: October 16th, 2014
Wissily Kandinsky was a Russian painter in the early 1900s. He was later known as one of the founders of purely abstract art.
Kandinsky underwent various stages in his art career, his style developing with the events occurring at the time.
One of Kandinsky's most famous works, Composition X makes use of different shapes, colors and textures to incite a certain reaction from the audience. To create a somewhat grainy feel to the painting, he mixed sand into his paint. Kandinsky made good use of his resources to produce such abstract artworks.
The most significant aspect of this painting is the stark black background contrasting with the color of the shapes on it. It is said that Kandinsky was not very fond of the color black and it does raise questions as to why he would choose to use it for this painting. The rest of the colors he decided to use in this piece where mainly pastels, as if he wanted to give it a more subdued and softer feeling.
The entire piece is filled with filaments floating all around the painting, as if there is a fiesta occurring at that moment. From a distance, the painting looks as though it resembles a party with the strips being confetti and ribbons flying everywhere. However, if you look closely, in the reddish-brown orb at the top left, there seems to be various intricate symbols drawn. Thee characters seem to resemble hieroglyphics, giving a more mysterious and scholarly feel from the painting.
As with the shapes, Kandinsky, at this point in his life, started to turn away from the more rigid and structured geometric shapes and incorporated more "biomorphic forms" which can be argued to express the artist's inner life.
In this untitled painting, Kandinsky makes use of a very distinct gradient from light brown to blue. This is uncharacteristic of Kandinsky as he usually liked to use solid colors or gradients that were not that drastic. By locating the major change of the gradient over where the horizon line would normally be in a perspective painting, Kandinsky Makes the slightly misshapen buildings in the foreground of the building as if dusty and timeless. The distinct shades of brown used in the foreground reinforce the image of the desert city. If there was more than one sun in the picture, I would say this was Tatooine. The white moon/sun/celestial object in the top half of the picture is colored a bluish white, further enhancing the contrast.
Der Blaue Reiter, 1903
Reiter (Lyrishes), 1911