Wassily Kandinsky was a Russian painter who painted some of the first purely abstract works. A purely abstract work does not represent anything in the natural world. It consists only of such things as shapes, colors, or brushstrokes. Kandinsky was one of our artists of the week last year.
Our artwork for the week is Kandinsky’s “Balancement”.
Kandinsky was not only a painter, he was an art theorist. An art theorist is someone who studies and writes about what elements are important for art to be considered good.
A principle of design that Kandinsky used to enhance his art is variety. Variety makes an artwork more interesting by using different elements together.
However, when using variety, the artists have to think and plan how the different elements will work together for the good of the composition. In Kandinsky’s painting, Several Circles, variety is added by varying the sizes and colors of the circles and by overlapping them.
In Kandinsky’s “Composition 8”, he uses a variety of lines, shapes, and colors.
Variety adds interestby using different elements within the composition of an artwork. Without variety, paintings can sometimes be dull or uninteresting.
Diagram 17 by Kandinsky
Different types of lines create variety.
Soft, Hard by Kandinsky
Other ways of creating variety in an artwork include using different shapes.
Using different colors can also add variety to a painting. There are other ways to add variety to an artwork such as texture, value, and other methods.
Kandinsky was born to a musical family and learned to play the piano and cello. A Google doodle was displayed in 2014 on his birthday that celebrated Kandinsky and how he connected music and art. The Google doodles included quotes from Kandinsky where he compared music elements to art words.
Improvisation 28 by Kandinsky
Kandinsky liked to use musical terms when naming his artworks. His more quickly done artworks were called "improvisations".
Composition VII by Kandinsky
More complicated paintings were labeled as "compositions."
Blue Painting by Kandinsky
Kandinsky was a pioneer of abstract art. He believed it had possibilities of a universal visual language.
YouTube video - Kandinsky's Composition VII animated with Stravinski's The Rite of Spring (1:19 min.)