Vasily Kandinsky: From Blaue Reiter to the Bauhaus, 1910-1925 explores the evolution of the artist's vision of abstract painting as a Gesamtkunstwerk synthesizing music, art and theater.
Composed of three thematic sections, it shows how Kandinsky's fascination with Richard Wagner's conception of the Gesamtkunstwerk compelled his early painting beyond the confines of the canvas. A further factor in this evolution was the theory of synesthesia that informed his art (yellow as the middle C on a trumpet, black as the color of 'closure,' etc), which inspired him to develop his relatively small-scale paintings into large-scale works that became immersive experiences verging on installations. This development in Kandinsky's work occurred within the context of his participation in two highly significant artistic groups: the Blaue Reiter (alongside Klee, Feininger and von Jawlensky) and the Bauhaus. This volume, which accompanies a show at the Neue Galerie in New York, charts how the artist's paintings of the Blaue Reiter years developed into large-scale Bauhaus environments, such as his Juryfreie murals of 1922. It thus offers a detailed account of Kandinsky's most creatively decisive years.
Vasily Kandinsky (1866-1944) began painting at the age of 30, after putting aside a highly successful career in law. After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, he returned to his native Moscow, just after the outbreak of World War I. Uninspired by the prevalent Suprematist and Futurist art there, he returned to Germany in 1921, teaching at the Bauhaus until the school was closed by the Nazis. He then moved to France, where he lived until his death in 1944.