Kandinsky – not high on my art must see list. Primarily because I really didn’t know anything about him or too much about “modern” art or the Bauhaus school, which he taught at before the Nazi’s closed it in 1933. However the Guggenheim has a whole floor devoted to him that might just turn you into a fan. You wouldn’t know it at first glance, but a tremendous amount of planning went into the painting below. It’s the first time that an artist didn’t attempt to paint representationally.
“The sun melts all of Moscow down to a single spot that, like a mad tuba, starts all of the heart and all of the soul vibrating.”
There are perhaps 3-4 color studies he did before painting this as well as a dozen or so sketches which show him trying to figure out placement of the elements. You can actually feel him struggling with what he wants to express and having a hell of a time working it out. I love it. He was trying to capture the soul of his native Moscow in an entirely new art language, abstraction.
I’m not the only one who does a napkin sketch of my life and know it isn’t quite how I wanted it to look. Struggling to “figure it out.” In the end he solved his problem by surrounding the core of the painting with a swath of white cloud. White space. I’ll take another serving of white space, please.