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Composition X (1939)  by Wassily Kandinsky

Composition X

1939

Biomorphic abstraction

Oil on canvas

51.2 × 76.8" (130.0 × 195.0 cm)

Dusseldorf. Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen

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

6 comments

29 September 2020
Autumn Myers: I like this painting because of the colors. I see a guy who is ordering off the menu and getting a drink.
19 September 2020
i hate school: im doing this for school but then there are these nerds acting like "this truly made me cry, tis beautiful.
12 May 2020
Nora Flowers: I fell in love with this piece because it reminded me of 80's and color-blocking. As you know color-blocking was inspired by another abstract artists Piet Mondrian's works, so in a way it all makes sense. Though I am not surprised in any way that Kandinsky was ahead of his time. By the way I see in this painting what happens in a young composers head when they get an idea of a new piece. The green and the pink make a light bulb and in the brown bubble notes are taking places on a music staff.
09 April 2019
Marco Passalacqua: I find myself singing with this piece. A wonderful display. Intense and volatile. It dances about and wavers with no struggle. Perfect
02 January 2018
Jayne: 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.
28 October 2015
Gold Maple: 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!

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