Vasily Kandinsky

The shifting forms and colors in this watercolor surge forward and recede, forming a completely abstract panorama at first glance. Further examination reveals hints of a landscape, however, including a hilltop town illuminated by a deep-red sun over a tower at upper left. Forced by World War I to leave Germany, where he had lived since 1898, Kandinsky returned to Moscow in 1914. There, restricted by limited space and financial resources, he concentrated on small- scale works primarily in watercolor, such as this one.

Vasily Kandinsky
Russian, 1866–1944
Untitled, ca. 1915
Watercolor and opaque watercolor
The Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray in memory of Buddy Mayer; 2018.753
Gray Collection Trust, Art Institute of Chicago
© Vasily Kandinsky / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Photography by Jamie Stukenberg, Professional Graphics Inc.