Luxury Design, Past & Present
Manufacture: Tabard, Aubusson
Signature: Signed lower left
Title: Sur Fond Noir
Dimensions: 260×190 cm
The Kandinsky's tapestry "Sur Fond Noir" is in excellent condition. The colors are perfectly bright and beautiful.
From 1934 to 1944 Kandinsky is in its Great Synthesis period.
Biomorphic forms with supple, non-geometric outlines appear in his paintings—forms which suggest microscopic organisms but express the artist's inner life. Kandinsky used original colour compositions, evoking Slavic popular art. Sur Fond Noir tapestry is emblematic of this period.
This period corresponds to a synthesis of Kandinsky's previous work in which he used all elements, enriching them. Small squares of colours and coloured bands stand out against the black background. The pastel tones cover the composition and form a mass which seems to float in the center of the tapestry.
According to Will Grohman, in 1940-1944, “Kandinsky still pursues his explorations, but now they are more secure and more sensitive; in both, black is set against the most delicate greens, pinks, and light blues.” This tapestry represents perfectly this deep and touching last period of Kandinsky.
In Kandinsky’s work some characteristics are obvious, while certain touches are more discrete and veiled; they reveal themselves only progressively to those who deepen their connection with his work. He intended his forms to resonate with the observer's soul, in the tapestry his intentions are fulfilled.
The same tapestry exists in the collections of the Grosse Pointe Public Library. It was selected by the Library’s Bauhaus architect, Marcel Breuer.
The Russian painter and graphic artist Wassily Kandinsky was one of the great masters of modern art, as well as the outstanding representative of pure abstract painting that dominated the first half of the twentieth century.
Early years in Russia
Wassily Kandinsky was born on December 4, 1866, in Moscow, Russia. His father was a tea merchant. When he was five years old the family moved to Odessa, Russia. The young Kandinsky drew, wrote poems, and played the piano and the cello. Because his family was fond of traveling, Kandinsky got to see the Italian cities of Venice, Rome, and Florence as a young boy. He was also influenced by the imposing Muscovite (from Moscow) buildings such as the Kremlin.
Beginnings as an artist
It was not until 1896, when Kandinsky was thirty years old, that he decided to become an artist. His artistic development was shaped greatly by an exhibition of French impressionist painters that was shown in Moscow in 1895. The impressionists used values of color and light to show their subjects rather than painting in fine detail. The works of Claude Monet (1840–1926) attracted Kandinsky's attention. In Monet's paintings the subject matter played a secondary role to color. It was as though reality and fairy tale were intermixed. That was the secret of Kandinsky's early work, which was based on folk art, and it remained so even as his work became more complex.
The year 1910 was crucial for Kandinsky and for the art world. Kandinsky produced his first abstract watercolor. In that work all elements of representation (the actual look of a subject) seem to have disappeared. In continuing his early abstract works he used strong straight-line strokes combined with powerful patches of color.
Return to Russia
When World War I broke out, Kandinsky returned to Russia. During the Russian Revolution (1917), which overthrew the czar, the ruler of Russia, the artist held an important post at the Commissariat (government bureau) of Popular Culture and at the Academy in Moscow. He organized twenty-two museums and became the director of the Museum of Pictorial Culture. In 1920 he was appointed professor at the University of Moscow. The following year , the Soviet attitude toward art changed, and Kandinsky left Russia.
Years in Germany and France
In 1922 Kandinsky became a professor at the Bauhaus (a school of art, architecture, and design) in Weimar, Germany. His art from about 1920 to 1924 has been called his architectural period because the shapes he used were more precise than before.
From 1927 to 1933, Kandinsky's paintings were characterized by abundant use of pictorial (like real pictures) signs and softer color. This is called his romantic or concrete period. It led to the last phase of his art, spent in France, which was a synthesis (blending) of his previous periods. The paintings of his Paris period have splendid color, rich invention, and delightful humor. In 1939 Kandinsky became a French citizen. He died on December 13, 1944, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.