Vassily Kandinsky was born in the year 1866 in Moscow, Russia, but he spent much of his early childhood life in Odessa. He learned to play the cello and the piano at a very tender age as an influence from his parents who used to play the zither and the piano. Apart from playing these musical instruments, he started drawing at an early age with the help of a coach. Consequently, he grew up to become a renowned painter and an art theorist. He is credited as being one of the most influential and original artists who reigned in the 20th century. In fact, the very first modern abstract paintings were the works of his hands. His paintings are so much influenced by music (Bowlt 78-89).
Kandinsky joined the University of Moscow in 1886 and chose to pursue a degree in law and economics. After his graduation, he became a lecturer in the same university, at the Faculty of Law. His teaching experience was very successful. At the same time, he wrote very widely on spiritual matters, a subject which remained of so much significance in his works. In the year 1895, he attended an Impressionist exhibition in France where he received great inspiration from an artist called Monet, to pursue life drawing, anatomy and sketching. As a result, he went to Munich to pursue these studies which he realized were basic for any artistic education.
It is ironic that the works of Kandinsky shifted in a direction that had more abstraction than that of the Impressionists who inspired him in the exhibition in France. His conception of purely abstract artistic works emerged from his ability to develop and nurture his intense theoretical thought which was based on his individual artistic experiences. He referred to this as fervor of spirit or dedication to inner beauty and it was the central focus of his artistic work.
After a very short period of time, it was clear that his talent exceeded the constrictions of art school and therefore he started discovering his own ideas of painting. For instance, he applied some flashes and drops of colors onto a canvas using a palette knife and made them to sing with so much strength. From 1903, his works began to be exhibited all over Europe and he is regarded as the father of abstract art.
Despite his successes, his works were often met with a lot of criticism from his contemporaries and other critics. Some of his works also caused controversies among the general public. Nevertheless, he continued to utilize his talent. His desire to define and express his form of art through his theoretical writings and on canvas grew even further. He participated actively in many controversial but influential art movements that emerged in the twentieth century such as the ‘Blue Rider’ that he formed with Marc Franz and the ‘Bauhaus’ which drew artists like Schonberg and Feininger Lyonel (Bowlt 90-94).
Kandinsky’s reputation grew in the entire United States of America as a result of several exhibitions. Guggenheim Solomon became one of his passionate supporters when his works were introduced to him. Kandinsky relocated from Germany in 1933 and moved to Neuilly near Paris where he settled. His paintings in the later years continued to meet a lot of controversies. In Paris, he received a lot of favors from the patriarchs of the artistic community and very many upcoming artists admired him. Many young artists like Magnelli, Miro, Tauber Sophie and Arp made frequent visits to his studio.
After settling in Neuilly, Kandinsky continued to paint for the rest of his life until the time that he died in June, 1944. It is indisputable that his inexorable quest for new forms of art which made him pursue tremendously the subject of geometric abstraction to the extreme ends has provided people of entire universe with an unmatched assortment of abstract art (Bowlt 95-98).