- Wassily Kandinsky
- Leise (Quietly)
- signed with artist's initials and dated 28
- watercolour, spritz technique and pen and ink on paper
Prof. Ernst Kuehnel, Berlin (a gift from the above in the 1930s)
Thence by descent to the present owner
Wassily Kandinsky, Point and Line to Plane, Munich 1926
Building on the publication of his seminal text Point and Line to Plane in 1926, Kandinsky used his teaching to continue his investigations into the interrelationship of colour, form and line. In Leise Kandinsky demonstrates his accomplished use of line and shape, creating geometric fields of form which coalesce in a field of three colours. The evocative title relates to Kandinsky’s unique exploration of music and colour within art. The composition of horizontal and vertical line, particularly to those within the green is demonstrative of an abstracted musical score – the artist encourages the viewer to feel the sound of each colour. From his seminal 1911 work on colour theory it is possible to read the work through each colour as calming, supernatural and joyful. It is a quiet symphony typical of Kandinsky’s mastery of his art at the Bauhaus.
During the early 1920s prior to his moving to the Bauhaus, Kandinsky's work gradually moved away from the free flowing, irregular lines and shapes of his earlier œuvre, towards a more geometric form of abstraction. His watercolours and paintings of this period are dominated by circles, triangles and straight lines rather than undefined shapes and loosely applied paint. This shift to strict geometric forms reflects the influence of Russian Constructivist art, to which he was exposed during the war years spent in Moscow. Constructivist art was gaining international scope and becoming an important artistic force in Germany during this time, where geometry was accepted as a universal artistic language. However, whilst developing this increasingly abstract vocabulary, Kandinsky's art did not fully adopt the practical, utilitarian quality characteristic of much of Constructivist art. Instead, the poetic and spiritual elements of his earlier works remained the underlying force of his art in the 1920s.
Kandinsky had joined the teaching faculty at the newly founded Bauhaus school of art and design in June 1922. His role, alongside Lyonel Feininger and Paul Klee, provided the students with mandatory introductory courses in art and design, as well as, lectures on the most innovative artistic theories of the day. At the Bauhaus, Kandinsky’s mode of artistic expression underwent significant change, and his recent acquaintance with the Russian avant-garde and the Revolution had a particularly profound impact on his art. Whilst he never committed himself to the Constructivist cause, his role at the Department of Visual Arts (IZO) within the People’s Commissariat of Enlightenment had brought him into close contact with their ideas and aesthetic. Works executed during this time were created in a manner honed by a period of great experimentation with new abstract forms and geometrical compositions.