During his time at the Bauhaus, Kandinsky’s mode of artistic expression underwent significant change, and his experience with the Russian avant-garde and the Revolution had a particularly profound impact on his art. While he never committed himself to the Constructivist cause, his former 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 are therefore considered to be created in a manner honed by a period of experimenting with geometric forms and pure abstraction (see fig. 2).
Kandinsky developed his theories about the spiritual aspect of art while at the Bauhaus, and his ideas found a fresh expression in the paintings and watercolors from this period. In 1926, he published his book Punkt und Linie zu Fläche (Point and Line to Plane), which outlined his theories of the basic elements of artistic composition, evident in the dynamic contrast of color and form in the present work. Most notably, he developed his Theory of Correspondences, which emphasized a systematic study of pictorial elements, both in combining the forms of triangle and circle, considered by the artist to be “the two primary, most strongly contrasting plane figures” (quoted in Kandinsky, Bauhaus and Russian Years (exhibition catalogue) Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich & Bauhaus-Archiv, Museum für Gestaltung, Berlin, 1984, p. 52). This theory is perhaps no more elegantly expressed than in Hartweich (Hard Soft), No. 390.
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