Kandinsky Watercolours: And Other Works on Paper by Frank Whitford, Whitford
Vasily Kandinsky (1866-1944) is one of the most important and influential painters of the twentieth century. A pioneer in creating art without figurative motifs, he was also the earliest abstract painter to explain and justify what he was doing. His theoretical writings, including Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1912), are among the most significant texts written by an artist in the last hundred years. Published to accompany the recent exhibition of his work at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Kandinsky Watercolours spans the artist's whole career and consists entirely of works on paper--watercolors, prints, and drawings. It is in these works that Kandinsky's spontaneity of expression is most clearly illustrated, and it is through watercolor that the artist achieved the luminosity and intensity of color that he sought. In addition to the beautifully reproduced watercolors are the artist's outstanding prints, including little-known woodcuts and lithographs. Frank Whitford, the curator for the exhibition, has organized this catalogue, which includes essays on Kandinsky's life and work; his time in Munich, Russia, and Paris; and his participation in the Bauhaus. Aya Soika contributes descriptions of Kandinsky through the eyes of his contemporaries, and a chronology.