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 Wassily Kandinsky  (1866 - 1944)

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Lived/Active: Russian Federation/France      Known for: constructivist sculpture, abstract and non-objective painting

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Ad Code: 1
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from Auction House Records.
Studie für Improvisation 8
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Wassily Kandinsky lived in Moscow from 1914 to 1921. In 1918 he was invited by both Soviet cultural bureaucrats and his colleagues to teach at the Svomas (Free State Art Schools), the radically oriented institutions that had replaced the traditional art schools swept away by the October Revolution. Two years later he was asked to head Inkhuk (The Institute of Artistic Culture) in Moscow.

At the age of fifty he married Nina Andreewsky, the beautiful young daughter of a Russian general. But his stay in Moscow was short-lived and he and his new wife, Nina, left Russia and resettled in Germany. There he spent eleven years as a master at the Bauhaus. The Kandinskys shared one of the double houses Gropius designed for the Bauhaus masters with his good friend the Swiss artist Paul Klee and his family. Kandinsky and Nina lived harmoniously together until he died.

In 1929 the Baroness Hilla Rebay, a 39-year old artist turned art adviser, brought the American millionaire Solomon R. Guggenheim to visit Kandinsky's studio in Dessau. As a result, when the Museum of Non-Objective Art opened ten years later, Kandinsky's work was its esthetic and spiritual heart. That museum was the forerunner of the Guggenheim Museum of today.

Kandinsky left Germany in 1933 and settled in Neuilly-sur-Seine outside Paris. He had already seen his work banned and vilified in the Nazi Party's notorious exhibitions of "Degenerate Art".

He died in Neuilly, France on December 13, 1944.

Written and submitted August 2004 by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.

Sources include:
Time Magazine, March 24, 1952, May 15, 1972 and December 16, 1966
"Kandinsky" by Hans K. Roethel with Jean K. Benjamin, published by Hudson Hills Press, 1977
"Kandinsky Among the Constructivists" by Ronny Cohen in Art News, April, 1984
Brooks Adams in LA Times, Sunday, June 4, 1995
"Kandinsky, The Last Decade" by Ronny Cohen in ARTnews, May 1985
From the internet, Webmuseum, Paris, Olga's

Biography from
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Born in Moscow in 1866, Wassily Kandinsky took up the study of art in earnest at age 30, moving to Munich to study drawing and painting. A trained musician, Kandinsky approached color with a musician's sensibility. An obsession with Monet led him to explore his own creative concepts of color on canvas, which were sometimes controversial among his contemporaries and critics, but Kandinsky emerged as a respected leader of the abstract art movement in the early 20th century.

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