Wassily Kandinsky. Animated stability, (1935).
Tremaine Collection / Miller Co. art & design
15 March 2019 | Updated 21 February 2020
Animated stability, (1937)
Oil on canvas
45 3/4 x 35 in. (115.2 x 88.9 cm)
The following is an excerpt from: Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art. (1948). Painting toward architecture, p. 76 (opposite page: photo of Animated stability). [Essay by Henry-Russell Hitchcock; foreword by Alfred H. Barr, Jr.; introduction by Burton Tremaine; acknowledgements by Emily Hall Tremaine, art director; certain artwork entries by Mary Chalmers Rathbun; graphic design by Bradbury Thompson].
"In 1910 Kandinsky painted the first purely non-representational picture. Happening to see one of his own early paintings turned on its side in a light so dim that the subject was indistinguishable, he suddenly realized that colors, shapes, and lines, free of natural reference, could be organized into pictures which would have a purity and aesthetic power comparable to that of music. He saw that the Renaissance conception of a picture as a small stage, with foreground, middleground and horizon, on which naturalistic objects were related to one another by perspective, linear or aerial, could be abandoned. The surface of his canvas became instead a flat field on which a pattern was to be arranged; lines and forms established the rhythm, generally angular but often abruptly varied with circles, ellipses and free curves. Since the picture surface was to Kandinsky a single, homogeneous area, not an opposition of solid objects and intervening voids, the spaces became as important as the shapes they lie between— they are indeed simply additional shapes. Depth is not suggested by perspective but rather by color relations and by transparency. Certain colors are juxtaposed with others so that they seem to project themselves forward; while in other areas the tones appear to be modified by underlying colors showing through."
"Kandinsky’s early work consisted of free, lyrical forms and brilliant colors, closely related to German expressionism. Later he came under the influence of the suprematists and constructivists and was appointed by Gropius to the Bauhaus. The forms in his later paintings, though often rigidly geometrical, are very loosely organized in space, with something of the freedom of musical cadenzas. The patterns of early modern architecture in France and Holland are, if anything, overstudied; the Bauhaus architects seem to owe Kandinsky a more improvisational approach to architectural composition. M. C. B. [Mary Chalmers Rathbun]".
Wassily Kandinsky’s Animated stability has been in the collection of the Miyagi Museum of Art, Sendai, Japan since 1986.
To learn more about Wassily Kandinsky’s Animated stability since c. 1945, click the link(s) to articles and exhibition compilations with documentation below.
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