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Deutliche Verbindung (Clear Connection)
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About the item

In 1922 Kandinsky joined the teaching staff at the Bauhaus, where he would remain for over a decade. A radically progressive establishment, the Bauhaus was dedicated to the pursuit of aesthetic theory and as a gathering place for many of the key figures of Modern art and design in Germany it provided the perfect backdrop to Kandinskys own theoretical and artistic experimentation. As early as 1911, in his seminal text Concerning the Spiritual in Art, Kandinsky had described the interrelationship of colour and form: It is evident that certain colours can be emphasised or dulled in value by certain forms. Generally speaking, sharp colours are well suited to sharp forms (e.g. yellow in the triangle), and soft, deep colours to round forms (e.g. blue in the circle). But it must be remembered that an unsuitable combination of form and colour is not necessarily discordant, but may with manipulation show fresh harmonic possibilities (quoted in Paul Overy, Kandinsky. The Language of the Eye, London, 1969, p. 163). Adopting an increasingly purely geometric abstraction that was partly influenced by his time spent in Russia and exposure to Suprematist art, Kandinsky used his teaching at the Bauhaus to continue his investigations into the symbiosis of colour and form. In line with Bauhaus principles, the classes he gave were participatory rather than purely didactic, and the artist designed a series of exercises for his students that challenged them to investigate colour theory, with a specific focus on the relationship between different colours and the correspondence between colour and form.\nA delicate orchestration of lines, shapes and dots, Deutliche Verbindung exemplifies the fruits of this experimentation. As Armin Zweite explains when discussing Kandinskys work of this period, this move towards abstraction did not entirely preclude a subjective suggestiveness that was the result of the artists careful arrangement of compositional elements: Kandinsky does not simply arrange a variety of abstract forms into a pattern: the forms, in conjunction with the colours, tell their own story. Each defined by its own setting, they take on a specific and in varying degrees trenchant character (A. Zweite, Free the Line for the Inner Sound, in Kandinsky Watercolors and Drawings (exhibition catalogue), Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, 1992, p. 26).\nThe considered deliberation behind a work such as Deutliche Verbindung is further illustrated by the artists technical acuity. Balancing spheres, triangles and half-circles of solid colour with darkly inked lines and subtle washes of watercolour, Kandinsky creates a remarkable dynamic within the present composition. The fine mist of watercolour which was a technique he adopted from his friend and fellow-Bauhaus teacher Paul Klee (fig. 1) is deployed to particularly striking effect. His exquisite use of watercolour and ink in this work reflects Kandinskys increasing interest in the medium which would come to define much of his artistic output over the remainder of his career.\nThe first owner of this work was Galka Scheyer, a collector and dealer whose primary interest was in The Blue Four: Jawlensky, Kandinsky, Klee and Feininger. In 1924 she moved from Germany to New York, and later settled in California. In America, particularly California, she befriended a number of collectors and museum curators, and energetically promoted the four artists, organising group and solo exhibitions, and giving lectures on their work.\nSigned with the monogram and dated 25 (lower left)
GB
GB
GB

medium

Watercolour and Indian ink on paper

creator

Kandinsky, Wassily

dimensions

48.2 by 31.8cm.

exhibition

Schloss Brunswick, Gesellschaft der Freunde junger Kunst, Jubiläums-Ausstellung W. Kandinsky, 1926, no. 51 Dresden, Galerie Arnold, Kandinsky: Jubiläums-Ausstellung zum 60. Geburtstage, 1926, no. 90 Mannheim, Städtische Kunsthalle, Wege und Richtungen der abstrakten Malerei in Europa, 1927, no. 117 Oakland, The Oakland Art Gallery, Kandinsky, 1929, no. 6 Hollywood, Braxton Gallery, Kandinsky, 1930, no. 17 San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, The Blue Four, 1931, no. 17 Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, Eleventh International Exhibition of Water Colors, 1931, no. 120 Oakland, The Oakland Art Gallery, The Blue Four: Feininger, Jawlensky, Kandinsky, Paul Klee, 1931, no. 17

literature

The artist's handlist of watercolours, listed as: xii 1925, 205, Deutliche Verbindung Vivian Endicott Barnett, Kandinsky Watercolours: Catalogue Raisonné, London, 1994, vol. II, no. 768, illustrated p. 153

provenance

Galka E. Scheyer, Los Angeles (acquired from the artist in July 1928; until 1931) Solomon Hale, Mexico City (acquired in 1931. Sold: Parke-Bernet, New York, 21st May 1975, lot 40) Private Collection, New York (sold: Christie's, New York, 11th November 1987, lot 118) Purchased at the above sale by the family of the present owner

signedDate

Signed with the monogram and dated 25 (lower left)

time_period

Executed in December 1925.

time_range_end

1925

artist_range_end

1944

time_range_start

1925

artist_range_start

1866

consignmentDesignation

Property from a Private European Collection

creator_nationality_dates

1866 - 1944


*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.


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