Composition X (1939)  by Wassily Kandinsky

Composition X


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


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.
16 September 2017
bec: cool
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!
15 March 2015

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