06.Russia&AbstractionBB

06.Russia&AbstractionBB - Russia Wassily Kandinsky...

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Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) The figure of Wassily Kandinsky is seminal in the history of early 20th-century painting. Kandinsky studied law from 1886-92 and then served on the law faculty of the University of Moscow from 1892 to 1896. However, he was increasingly drawn to painting. In 1896, he left Russia and went to Munich in order to study painting there. He painted in a broad and eclectic stylistic range from 1896 until 1909, a range that reflected the changes in European painting in general in the mid to late 19th century.
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This painting reveals Kandinsky's understanding of the post-impressionist painters who, after the dissolution of subject matter by light in the impressionist period, sought to re- introduce structure. Here, structure is found not only in the composition of the work, i.e. the arrangement of forms, but in the use of color and the reality of the paint and even the brushstrokes. Beach Cabins in Holland , 1902
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Historically, from the Renaissance through the late 19th-century, western art had conceived of the canvas or painted surface as a window or imaginary plane through which another world, usually an ideal world, could be viewed. The ability to arrange that ideal world mathematically through one-, two-, and three-point perspective from the 15th century on reinforced the concept of illusion that underlay the imaginary window. Although the quality of the paint itself on the surface of the canvas had fascinated the baroque painters of the 17th century because of its sensuous nature, the post- impressionists began to treat the painted surface and the paint on the surface as a reality of equal or even greater value than the subject matter represented. The post-impressionist characteristics of Beach Cabins in Holland also permeate Bavarian Mountains (1909) . The structure of this painting is dependent in large part on the geometry of the forms as they are arranged across the picture plane. Color likewise is used to emphasize the composition while the brushstrokes further articulate the paint as the surface of the work. There is a tension between the flat, two-dimensional qualities and the illusionistic three-dimensional qualities that enlivens the work.
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Bavarian Mountains , 1909
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Beginning in 1909, Kandinsky began to work on three series of paintings which he named "improvisations," "compositions," and "impressions." Each series had a specific definition. Impressions : paintings which retain an impression of exterior nature Improvisations : paintings which arise from an inner emotion Compositions : paintings built up from preliminary studies and into whose construction the painter's consciousness enters
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Improvisation 9 , 1910 In this work, the illusionistic qualities begin to subside, subordinated by the almost vibrating quality of the brushstrokes and the rich harmony of the color palette. Line-- whether as outline, as separator between forms, or as an active agent of movement--becomes an important expressive vehicle along with color and shape.
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06.Russia&AbstractionBB - Russia Wassily Kandinsky...

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