Lot 1
  • 1

Wassily Kandinsky

Estimate
150,000 - 200,000 GBP
Sold
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Description

  • Wassily Kandinsky
  • WACHSEN (GROWTH)

  • signed with the monogram and dated 23 (lower left); signed Kandinsky and dedicated Meinen lieben, verehrten Herrn und Frau v. Hoesslin zum Andenken an Dessau herzlichst 20 V 26. on the artist's mount

  • watercolour and pen and ink on paper laid down on the artist's mount
  • sheet size: 39.5 by 30.5cm. 15 1/2 by 12in.
  • mount size: 50 by 40cm. 19 5/8 by 15 3/4 in.

Provenance

Mr & Mrs Dieter von Hoesslin, Dessau (a gift from the artist on 20th May 1926)
Karl Ströher, Darmstadt (acquired by 1954)
Galerie Thomas, Munich (acquired circa 1965-68)
Galerie Beyeler, Basel
Private Collection, Italy (acquired by 1968)
Sale: Parke-Bernet, New York, 2nd May 1974, lot 119
Leonard Hutton Galleries, New York
Acquired from the above by the late owner on 21st December 1977

Exhibited

Berlin, Galerie Nierendorf, Kandinsky, 1923
Belgrade, 1924
Dresden, Galerie Neue Kunst Fides, Kandinsky, 1924
Wiesbaden, Neues Museum, Nassauischer Kunstverein und Wiesbadener Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst, Wassili Kandinsky, 1925, no. 26
Barmen, Ruhmeshalle; Bochum, Gemäldegalerie & Düsseldorf, Galerie Nierendorf, Kandinsky, 1925
Darmstadt, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Privatsammlung Karl Ströher, Darmstadt, 1954, no. 87, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Germany, Travelling exhibition of the Kulturkreis im Deutschen Industrieverband, 1958-60
London, Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., Painters of the Bauhaus, 1962, no. 57, illustrated in the catalogue
Darmstadt, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Die Sammlung Karl Ströher, 1965-66, no. 54, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Sydney, David Jones Limited, Aspects of 20th Century Art, 1976, no. 18 (titled Growing Up)

Literature

Artist's Handlist, Watercolours, listed as 'ix 1923, 97, Wachsen'
Gerhard Händler, Deutsche Maler der Gegenwart, Berlin, 1956, illustrated pl. 51
Das Kunstwerk, Baden-Baden, 1957, no. 5/6/XI, illustrated in colour p. 33
Eberhard Roters, Painters of the Bauhaus, New York, 1969, no. 57, illustrated in colour p. 143
Vivian Endicott Barnett, Kandinsky Watercolours, Catalogue Raisonné 1922-1944, London, 1994, vol. II, no. 650, illustrated p. 85

Catalogue Note

Wachsen (Growth) is among the most exquisite examples of works on paper created by Kandinsky during his early Bauhaus career. Characterised by an almost self-surpassing precision, its rigorously abstract, geometric style implies the dominance of the cerebral over the emotional in the artist's visual conception, though the complexity of the present work, alive with dynamic tension, denies such simplification. Kandinsky's ongoing concern with the emotive qualities of pure colour and form – set forth in his treatise Point and Line to Plane – demonstrates how passionately he understood his work. For Kandinsky, every pictorial element is the product of the creator's inner necessity – every image, therefore, an autonomous representation of the human condition.

The abstract geometry of the present composition is analogous to the order and harmony of the cosmos. Indeed such a theme would have offered Kandinsky a complete vocabulary of abstract forms which still retained a degree of representational value. At every coincidence of angle and plane, eruptions of colour take the form of celestial objects - the series of brightly coloured semi-circles is entirely characteristic of Kandinsky's abstract works of this period, and they are juxtaposed against the more organic, painterly forms which occupy the centre and upper left of the sheet.

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