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Wassily Kandinsky

Sharp

watercolour, gouache, pen and ink on paper on cardboard
1928
48,4 x 32,1 cm / 19 1/8 x 12 5/8 in.
signed with monogram and dated lower left verso titled, dated and inscribed 'No 253'

“Sharp” is a radiant and brilliantly ordered composition that dates from the height of Kandinsky's involvement with the Bauhaus. A completely abstract construction of colorful geometric forms, its dynamic yet balanced composition consists of an extraordinary series of interactions between triangles, rectilinear shapes and the circular forms. The present work derives from a period when Kandinsky was putting into practice the theoretical analysis of form that he had published in 1926 in his treatise “Punkt und Linie zur Fläche” (Point and Line to Plane). A play of opposites between the soft, warm and harmonious tones of his colors and the stark, hard-edged geometry and sparse graphic severity of a mechanical or architectural diagram, “Sharp” is a work that echoes many of the ideals outlined in this often complex and detailed analysis of abstract form. Kandinsky’s years at the Bauhaus between 1922 and 1932 can be considered as his most productive period in his artistic career. He made roughly 350 oil paintings and almost twice as many (600) watercolours, among them “Sharp” which impressively illustrates the perfect implementation of Kandinsky’s theoretical writings and is exemplary for the works created during his Bauhaus period.

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