- Wassily Kandinsky
OHNE TITEL (untitled)
- Dated 2 viii 19 (lower left)
- Watercolor and India ink on paper
- 7 1/2 by 12 in.
- 18.9 by 30.5 cm
Vasily Dmitrievich Bobrov, Moscow (acquired from the artist)
George Costakis, Moscow and Athens
Kouros Gallery, New York (acquired in the mid-1980s)
Schlesigner Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above
This transition is visible in the present work: some degree of association with nature still exists in an allusion to a landscape, most notably in the shape of a mountain on the left of the composition, and a curved line of the horizon on the right, intersected by what could be read as trees and hills. Whilst still recognizable from his early works, these elements have become increasingly abstract and geometricized. Set against a monochrome background and colored in primary tones outlined in red ink, Kandinsky’s compositions of this period gradually abandon the sense of gravity, heralding the purely abstract compositions of his Bauhaus years.
The first owner of the present work was Vasily Dmitrievich Bobrov, Kandinsky’s student and secretary during his stay in Russia. Bobrov was an artist in his own right, whose abstract works were influenced by Kandinsky’s artistic theory and painterly style, and who exhibited alongside Russian avant-garde artist such as Rodchenko, Kliun and Popova. On his final departure from Russia in 1921, Kandinsky left a group of works, including the present watercolor, to Bobrov. It was later acquired by George Costakis, a distinguished collector of Russian art, who donated the majority of his magnificent collection of the Russian avant-garde to the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moskow in 1977.