Wassily Kandinsky, Biography
Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky (4 December 1866 – 13 December 1944) was a Russian painter and art theorist. He is credited with painting one of the first recognised purely abstract works. Born in Moscow, Kandinsky spent his childhood in Odessa, where he graduated at Grekov Odessa Art school. Kandinsky began painting studies (life-drawing, sketching and anatomy) at the age of 30.
In Munich, Kandinsky was accepted into a prestigious private painting school, moving on to the Munich Academy of Arts. But much of his study was self-directed. He began with conventional themes and art forms, but all the while he was forming theories derived from devoted spiritual study and informed by an intense relationship between music and color. These theories coalesced through the first decade of the 20th century, leading him toward his ultimate status as the father of abstract art.
Color became more an expression of emotion rather than a faithful description of nature or subject matter. He formed friendships and artist groups with other painters of the time, such as Paul Klee. He frequently exhibited, taught art classes and published his ideas on theories of art.
He taught at the Bauhaus school in Berlin and wrote plays and poems. In 1933, when the Nazis seized power, storm troopers shut down the Bauhaus school. Although Kandinsky had achieved German citizenship, World War II made it impossible for him to stay there. In July 1937, he and other artists were featured in the “Degenerate Art Exhibition” in Munich. It was widely attended, but 57 of his works were confiscated by the Nazis.
He lived a rather secluded life, depressed that his paintings weren’t selling. Although still considered controversial by many, he had earned prominent supporters such as Solomon Guggenheim and continued to exhibit till his death