«Phalanx»After retiring from the studio of Franz Stuck, Kandinsky was looking for a group of progressive artists, with whom he could implement a new, “non-academic” exhibition policy. At that time, he met with the participants of the literary and artistic cabaret “Eleven of the executioners”, communication with who gave him new impulses for creativity. Kandinsky became to write critical articles, published in the Russian magazines. But the cultural life of the Munich seemed him too conservative, limited and narrow-minded.
In an attempt to influence the prevailing situation of academism, as well as to collect in one company creative-minded people, in May, 1901 Kandinsky with Rolf Nitsky, Waldemar Heckel and Wilhelm Huisgen together created the artistic and creative association “The Phalanx”, becoming its President. In the art school opened at that time had taught participants of association. On the first exhibition of the “The Phalanx” the audience were shown works of Kandinsky, his friends from the artistic cabaret, as well as Alexander Salzmann, who Kandinsky had met in the studio of Franz Stuck.
In the following exhibitions of “The Phalanx” Kandinsky tried to collect the work, which represented the other direction in art, in his opinion, were not enough assessed: impressionism, symbolism and jugendstil. It is jugendstil interested in of the artist at that moment. He felt that how were attractively new opportunities of generalized forms. One of the paintings of this period of searches is “The Old town”, as well as, later familiar “The Blue rider”.
To the disappointment of Kandinsky, for the three years of intensive exhibition activity of an association, he was not able to cause the society a sufficient interest in what he was doing. Twelve exhibitions were conducted at all, in where works of both known and unknown artists had been demonstrated, presented of jugendstil, symbolism, the late impressionism. So, at the seventh exhibition (1903) there were presented works of Claude Monet, on the tenth (1904) - Toulouse-Lautrec, F. Vallotton, P.Signac, T.Rijsselberge. But the societym of Munich met the exhibitions in the best case in silence, in the worst - grumbling and swearing. Tired of fruitless attempts to break into their hearts and minds, Kandinsky, as President, had taken a decision on the closure of the association in 1904.
He devoted entirely himself to the wooden engraving. This expressive technique gave him the opportunity to transfer their creative ideas, closely associated with jugendstil and symbolism - the currents, which at that time owned the soul of the artist and presented him the most free to choose artistic means.
The period of “The Phalanx” had brought acquaintance and getting creative communication to Kandinsky with such an artist, as Alfred Кubin, a creator of the symbolic and surrealistic graphic creations, as well as poets-symbolists Stefan George, Karl Wolfskehl. They were close to Kandinsky in his quest to look for new ways in art. Thanks to the “The Phalanx” Kandinsky continued to search for a new style, opened for himself new expressive means and mastered a new technique - an engraving on wood. And the “The Blue rider” became later the symbol of another important phase in the life and work of Wassily Kandinsky.