Van der Clip (acquired in 1944)
Private Collection, Paris
Sold: Sotheby's, London, 2nd July 1975, lot 263
Private Collection, New York (acquired by 1994)
Eykyn Maclean, New York & London
Acquired from the above by the present owner in April 2006
Vivian Endicott Barnett, Kandinsky Watercolours, Catalogue Raisonné, London, 1994, vol. II, no. 1345, illustrated in colour p. 477; illustrated p. 519
Following his move to the French capital, Kandinsky increasingly came into contact with works by Surrealist artists such as Joan Miró and Jean Arp, and under the influence of their style he moved away from the hard-edged geometrical abstraction that had dominated his œuvre throughout the 1920s. He found a new, more organic abstract idiom, reflected in the biomorphic shape of the present work. Coupled with a vibrant palette, this organic affinity imbues the composition with a wonderfully playful and optimistic character. Here, a variety of forms – both geometric and organic – is scattered across the surface of the paper, set against a neutral monochrome background. Combining his poetic sensitivity with a bright palette as well as with his theoretical principles, Sans titre brings together all the elements Kandinsky deemed essential for the fruition of abstraction: ‘in order to devote oneself fully to it, one must be a good draftsman, have great sensitivity for composition and for colours and, most importantly, be an authentic poet’ (quoted in ibid., p. 206).
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