Wassily Kandinsky. Composition VIII, 1923

Composition VIII


Geometric abstraction

Oil on canvas

55.1 × 79.1" (140.0 × 201.0 cm)

New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

2685 views in February

The audience was quite shocked by the transition from the apocalyptic emotion of “Composition VII” to the geometric rhythm of “Composition VIII”. “Composition VIII” was painted ten years later in 1923. It is a logical development of the creative genius of the painter and to a certain extent it reflects the influence of Suprematism and Constructivism assimilated by Kandinsky in Russia and in the Bauhaus.

In 1926, the most important theoretical work of the painter “Point and Line to Plane” was published. Of course, most of the painter’s canvases of this period are the practical expression of his theoretical ideals. However, this is not a literal implementation, but rather intuitive and poetic interpretation. Kandinsky as a writer was consistent and methodical, but when working on the canvas with figures and colours he was becoming sensual and impulsive. And, of course, he hoped that the audience would perceive his work emotionally, too.

Kandinsky aimed to formulate an abstract language which would cause strong emotions in the audience to a large extent the same way as it does the music. “Form itself, even if completely abstract ... has its own inner sound,” he wrote. Kandinsky was looking for a universal law of harmony in the visual arts, which must be present in the center of each creation, and this mystical belief was being reinforced by a convincing inner strength of the painter.

“Composition VIII” was one of the first paintings which were bought by Solomon R. Guggenheim. In 1930 Guggenheim visited Bauhaus where he bought several paintings of Kandinsky. It was the beginning of a large collection which is now exhibited in the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

More from 1923

More from New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum



#30. Christian, California, USA

14 October
The only painting I have ever known in the abstract genre. Amazing work.

#29. Stella, Uruguay

28 August

#28. jack parker, sta august

23 June
im bumming over this art work its amazing


#27. Pepe, UK

24 April
Es, muy, muy fenomenal!


#26. Rom,

17 December
What was so loved about his work??

#25. Finn, Russia

12 December
Very nice picture. It looks noisy

#24. Hayley, New Windsor

21 October
Wows! I like this painting and it's was a susscess

#23. Jordan, Canada

12 July
I've Never seen his art before but I'm drawn into it now. He has inspired my future work. I love his use of color and contrast

#22. Sagar Bhatt, Mississauga, ON, Canada

09 May
(*Inspired*) Love it; great artist from a great country.

#21. bella, sydney

22 March
what element of design did he use help me PLZZZ

#20. Michael, Ukraine

17 March
It's nice to see how beautiful this work is especially as Russia tries to invade our dear city.
I hope things such as this would soon bring us together and finally bring peace

#19. faith howard, comfort

03 February
I love this picture because its very different and I like things like that I don't like the same thing all the time I like to see different paintings and drawings . Thats why I liked I liked picture

#18. loverofkandinsky,

28 January

#17. carla, australia

23 January


#16. Jarrod, Canberra

02 April
I'm looking for more information on Mimic 2

#15. triston,

23 March
I love this painting. Its like the inside of my head when listening to music, for I have synesthesia too:)

#14. A. Dimitrova, Russia

25 February
This is amazing. It speaks to me


#13. Alexis Maceda, La Paz, Bolivia

21 November
Hi, I was wondering if there is an "oficial interpretation" for this painting.

#12. Bern, United States

21 November
Very unique piece of art. It supposed to represent music.
Before beginning his art career, kandinsky went to school to become a lawyer. Although,he discovered his love for music, then went to art school


#11. teresa, texas usa

12 October
appreciate the remarks. I had mentioned to several people that Kandinsky's work reminded me of music and so now i see why. i am not studying for school, i am pretty old. I love art.

#10. maria, england

06 October
i use this picture for my inglish art project and one more time i love this picture

#9. maria,

06 October
i love this picture

#8. Leslie, MHS

11 August
Prince, Jason Tran?

#7. Prince, Bel air

06 August
Sup, Melbourne High?

#6. Ember, Canada

08 April
I used this picture for my art project! I love this pic!

#5. st, great britan

15 January
thanx kathryn you have helped me a lot !


#4. chow, scotland

09 October
i really like this picture we did it for a univercity project it is so unique

#3. Kathryn Kij, Cheyenne

14 September
Yes, I have studied Kandinsky in school and he would go to the symphony and paint or sketch the music. He used universal shapes and colors that anyone in the world would understand or feel the meaning. For example the colorful grids are the sound of the piano, the circles and triangles are the different brass instruments and the slash marks are the srokes of the strings and the curvy lines are the wind instruments like the flute. The Warmer colors in the yellow to red range are louder nioses and the color tones of greans blues and purples are lower sounds. And he uses composition to draw your eye around the painting so that you can imagine how the whole piece would sound.

#2. Ali, England

10 June
Kandinsky supposedly had synesthesia so he wanted to create the painting equivalent of a symphony to stimulate the ears of the observer. Hence the name "composition".

#1. molli, england

10 March
does any1 knowe any history onthis picture?

Your comment

Please use english.


Email (optional):

subscribe to new comments