Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky was born in Moscow on 19 December 1866. Between 1886 and 1892, he studied law and economics at the University of Moscow. In 1897, Kandinsky moved to Munich to study art, first with Anton Azbe and then with Franz von Stuck. From 1901-03, Kandinsky taught at the art school of Phalanx, where he met Gabriele Münter, one of his students, who would be his companion until 1914. Kandinsky’s early work was influenced by Post-Impressionism and Fauvism in the expressive use of colour and flatness of depth. In 1909, Kandinsky was elected president of the newly founded Neue Künstlervereinigung München (NKVM), whose first show took place at Heinrich Thannhauser’s Moderne Galerie in Munich that year. In 1911, Kandinsky and Franz Marc began to make plans for Der Blaue Reiter Almanac, whilst Kandinsky also published On the Spiritual in Art. Kandinsky and Marc withdrew from NKVM and, in 1912, both exhibited at the inaugural Der Blaue Reiter exhibition held at the Moderne Galerie. Kandinsky’s first solo show came later that year at Der Sturm gallery, Berlin, and the following year one of his works was included in the Armory Show. Over this period, inspired by the sensory connections between colour and sound (synaesthesia), Kandinsky’s work had become increasingly abstract and is characterised by a feeling of expressive spontaneity – loose brushstrokes, ambiguous subjects and a vibrant palette.


From 1914 to 1921, Kandinsky lived in Moscow, Russia, working for the People’s Commissariat of Education. In 1922, Kandinsky began teaching at the Bauhaus in Weimar. The following year he was given his first solo show in New York by the Société Anonyme, of which he became vice-president. In 1924, Kandinsky formed Der Blaue Vier (‘the Blue Four’) group along with Lyonel Feininger, Alexej von Jawlensky, and Paul Klee. He moved with the Bauhaus to Dessau in 1925 and published his second theoretical book, Point and Line to Plane, in 1926. A particularly productive period for Kandinsky, geometrical elements – particularly the circle, semicircle, angles, straight and curved lines – became increasingly important in his work, complementing his freedom of colour.


Kandinsky became a German citizen in 1928. After the Nazi government closed the Bauhaus in 1933, he moved to France where he settled in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris; he acquired French citizenship in 1939. In the final decade of his life, Kandinsky’s work synthesised elements from his previous work into complete compositions, with biomorphic forms – redolent of Surrealist motifs – rendered in harmoniously balanced tones. He died on 13 December 1944.


Kandinsky’s work can be found in the following selected international collections: the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA); the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg; State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow; Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow; Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf; Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich; Beyeler Foundation, Basel; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Tate Collection, London.


Please contact the gallery for further information on this artist.