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Kandinsky - The Elements of Art

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Kandinsky - The Elements of Art

Philippe Sers

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The richness of Wassily Kandinsky’s life, work and thought make him one of the leading figures of 20th-century art. He was a founder member of Der Blaue Reiter and his theories influenced many of the major artistic movements of his time, including Dada, the Bauhaus, De Stijl and Russian Constructivism. A friend of artists such as Marcel Duchamp and Paul Klee, he also had fruitful relationships with contemporary musicians including Arnold Schoenberg and Thomas de Hartmann. This book traces the chronological evolution of Kandinsky’s art, making use of an unprecedented wealth of documents from the artist’s own workshop, including autobiographical writings, correspondence and theoretical essays, to shed new light on his prolific creative imagination. Kandinsky divided his work into three categories: impressions (observations of the exterior world), improvisations (expressions of inner feeling) and compositions (images on a grander scale that brought inner and outer visions together). His art is also marked by two intersecting axes: the first moving from the figurative to the abstract, the second from the profane to the sacred. Generously illustrated throughout, this book uncovers the well of imagery that lies behind Kandinsky’s paintings, prints and poetry, and explores his passionate belief in the spiritual and harmonizing power of art.

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