Composition X (1939)  by Wassily Kandinsky

Composition X


Biomorphic abstraction

Oil on canvas

51.2 × 76.8" (130.0 × 195.0 cm)

Dusseldorf. Germany. Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany


The key characteristic of this composition is obviously an immobile black ocean against the background of which colors and forms emerge in isolation. The magnificence of these colored forms leads to reflections about shapes, created by Matisse a decade later. The movement of forms is clearly directed upwards from both sides of the central axis, which crosses the object resembling a book and situating closer to the upper part of the canvas. In general the composition arouses sensation of some external space with soaring objects in it.
Kandinsky always expressed great aversion to black color, and it is very symbolic that he had chosen this very color as a dominant one for his last composition.

More from 1939

All artworks by year

1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944



02 January 2018
The black background is the universe. The green circle on the right is a clown with a huge smile, hat, triangular eyes. The audience is internal. Confetti and programs are everywhere. Another clown on the left. The large brown circle is the clowns head....showing the internal thinking and computations. Balloons are about. Vibrant happy colors.


16 September 2017

Gold Maple,

28 October 2015
I think that composition X is beautiful. It almost looks like Kandinsky had painted all his feelings about his life and used black as the dominant colour to show that he knew he was close to death. The painting looks like he wanted to leave behind his mark and he definitely did!


15 March 2015

Your comment

Please use english.


Email (optional):

subscribe to new comments