198
198
Wassily Kandinsky
HARTNÄCKIGES BRAUN (OBSTINATE BROWN)
Estimate
180,000250,000
LOT SOLD. 313,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
198
Wassily Kandinsky
HARTNÄCKIGES BRAUN (OBSTINATE BROWN)
Estimate
180,000250,000
LOT SOLD. 313,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Works on Paper

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London

Wassily Kandinsky
1866-1944
HARTNÄCKIGES BRAUN (OBSTINATE BROWN)
signed with the monogram and dated 25 (lower left)
watercolour and pen and ink on paper
47.5 by 31.5cm., 18 3/4 by 12 3/8 in.
Executed in December 1925.
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Provenance

Estate of the artist
Herman Schridde, Dortmund (acquired from the above in January 1930)
Dr Ludwig Grote, Germany
Galerie Wilhelm Grosshennig, Dusseldorf (acquired in 1971)
Private Collection, Germany
Thence by descent to the present owner

Exhibited

Dresden, Galerie Arnold; Berlin, Galerie Neumann-Nierendorf; Dessau, Anhaltischer Kunstverein & Munich, Neue Kunst Hans Goltz, Kandinsky: Jubiläums-Ausstellung zum 60. Geburtstage, 1926-27, no. 87
Munich, Moderne Galerie Otto Stangl, Kandinsky, 1948, no. 11
Munich, Haus der Kunst, Die Maler im Bauhaus, 1950, no. 102

Literature

Artist's Handlist, Watercolours, listed as 'xii 1925, 196, Hartnäckiges Braun'
Vivian Endicott Barnett, Kandinsky Watercolours, Catalogue Raisonné, 1922-44, London, 1994, vol. II, no. 759, illustrated p. 149

Catalogue Note

Executed in 1925, the present watercolour is a wonderful example of Kandinsky's work from the 1920s when the artist moved back from Moscow to Germany in June 1922 and began teaching at the Bauhaus in Weimar. He quickly became immersed in the German art world: he participated in a number of exhibitions, and his teachings and writings were crucial to the development of abstract art internationally.

Created during this very significant period of transition, Hartnäckiges Braun exemplifies the artist's gradual move away from the free flowing, irregular lines and shapes of his earlier years, towards a purer form of geometric abstraction. His watercolours and paintings of this period are dominated by circles, triangles and straight lines rather than by undefined shapes and loosely applied paint. This shift to stricter geometric forms reflects the influence of Russian Constructivist art, which he was exposed to during the war years spent in Moscow. It was owing to artists such as Kandinsky and Moholy-Nagy that Constructivist art continued to gain international recognition in the 1920s, becoming an important artistic force in Germany, where geometry became accepted as a universal artistic language.

Writing about this pivotal period in Kandinsky's art, Clark Poling commented: 'Basic shapes and straight and curved lines predominate in these paintings, and their black lines against white or light backgrounds maintain a schematic and rigorous quality. The large size and transparency of many of the forms and their open distribution across the picture plane give these compositions a monumentality and an expansiveness despite their relative flatness. Whereas certain abstract features of the series derive from Russian precedents, their vertically positioned triangles and planetary circles refer to landscape... Nevertheless, the transparency of forms, their rigorous definition and floating quality maintain the abstract character of the work' (Clark Poling, Kandinsky, Bauhaus and Russian Years (exhibition catalogue), The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1983, p. 51).

Impressionist & Modern Works on Paper

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London