Wassily Kandinsky was born in Moscow in 1866, his parents were upper-class and well educated. His mother was from Moscow, his father came from near the border with Mongolia and his grandmother came from the German speaking Baltic region. He spent most of his childhood in the cosmopolitan city of Odessa and he artistic talent was encouraged by his father, although he didn’t pursue painting until he was 30 instead studying law, ethnography, and economics.

Kandinsky’s interest in colour symbolism and its effect on the human psyche grew throughout his time in Moscow and after a trip to northwest Russia he became interested in folk art which stayed with him through the rest of his life

Kandinsky was one of the pioneers of abstract modern art. He believed that when an artist copied from nature it interfered with the transcendental expression offered by total abstraction.

His art and ideas inspired many artists, including his students at the Bauhaus and the Abstract Expressionists after WWII.

He wanted to convey a spirituality through a visual language that was universal using colour and form that would transcend cultural and physical boundaries.


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