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L y n n  C a r l s o n . u s
Art Consultant
   Consultora en las materias del arte visual

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Choice of the mid size graphic was brilliant.  Only two of the colors in the painting were used on the text of the page and those, sparingly. The bow to Art Deco drew me in.  The play of the geometrics and lines and feel of the paper held my attention.  I would read The Art Newspaper’s eight page supplement and I would soon know that it was the statement of people from different culture, eastern; with a graphic from my own western tradition.  I would learn that a foreign host was welcoming me and people like me to its art fair—to visit the Middle East where we’d be sure to feel right at home. 

The Abu Dhabi Art Fair marketers had given a 1932 Kandinsky illustration a good part of the front page of their ad.

Later than the Kandinsky paintings I am used to visiting at the Art Institute of Chicago, I had not recognized that the piece was by Kandinsky.  I knew it was good.  The painting purposeful, thoughtful; the composition balanced, the shapes and colors interesting.  To learn its authorship invited me to think about Wassily Kandinsky and be purposeful.

Kandinsky (1866-1944) was born in Moscow.  As a child, we’re told he drew, wrote poetry, studied music and traveled a good deal with his family.  Between 1886-1892 the young Kandinsky concentrated on law and economics at the University of Moscow while also studying cultural-socio issues of the Vologda (Russia) people.  In 1893 Kandinsky was offered a position in the university’s law department.

In 1895, Moscow was host to an exhibition of works by Claude Monet and other French Impressionists.  Soon after, and at the age of thirty, Kandinsky went to Munich where he studied, formulated and espoused his own ideas about non-objective, abstract painting.  Subjects disappeared.  Color exhibited its power. His book Concerning the Spiritual in Art is a thesis on the relationship of art and music to aesthetics.

            “The harmony of color and form must be based solely upon the principle of the proper contact with the human soul.”

Though Kandinsky didn’t send work, he and his contemporaries would find the International Exhibition of Modern Art held in the 69th Regiment Armory Bldg, NYC, the Armory Show of 1913, as decisive as the political event that would follow one year later.  The Armory Show was a large, challenging, exhibition of advanced movements of European art.

When WWI broke out in 1914, Kandinsky returned to his birthplace.  During the Russian Revolution of 1917, Kandinsky was a cultural leader in Moscow and only left, in 1922 for another pivotal cultural force called the Bauhaus.  Kandinsky became an instructor at the Bauhaus School of Art, Design and Architecture in Weimar, Germany and became a German citizen in 1928.  When the Bauhaus closed in 1932, he moved to Paris via Berlin.  The Paris period, Kandinsky’s last works, and the period to which the subject of this article belongs, features splendid color and rich invention. 

The Abu Dhabi Art Fair is November 19 -22.  “Decisive Rose” was a credible and valuable choice on an invitation to a first contact.

Arnason, History of Modern Art


Lynn Carlson                                                                                                    lynncarlson.us  

Crystal Lake                                                                                                    


Lynn Carlson, M.A., M.S.

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