Improvisation by Kandinsky is expression of inner processes that occurs suddenly, mostly unconsciously. It is the effect of "inner nature."
"Painting seemed to me to be endowed with a marvellous power; and, without my being aware of this, even the subject, regarded as an indispensable part of painting, had begun to lose its importance for me”, Kandinsky.
Kandinsky was more than thirty years old and had a complete legal education behind him when he came to Germany and began to paint. It is true that, from the years of his childhood and adolescence, he had found himself drawn, mysteriously, towards painting. His biography "Backward Glances' tells us of the extraordinarily powerful impression which certain colours made on him from a very early age. His native Moscow, with its marvellous light on sunny days, when for a brief hour all the colours seemed to come alive excited his imagination and in his spare time he made unsuccessful attempts to capture this effect in painting. The young lawyer was impressed by the power of Rembrandt's chiaroscuro and, lis tening to the music of Wagner, he was stirred by forces which evoked in him visual impressions; he saw Lohengrin’ for the first time and recorded his reactions as follows: I could see all my colours, as they came to life before my eyes. In wild disorder and profusion, they drew them selves in my mind No less extreme were his reactions in front of a painting which he had an opportunity to admire at the exhibition of Impressionists in Moscow a Haystack by Claude Monet. "Before this wrote Kandinsky, "I only knew realistic painting and indeed mainly the Russians. And, then, suddenly, for the first time, I saw a real picture. I did not realise that it represented a haystack until I read it in the catalogue. The fact that I failed to recognise the subject made me ponder; it seemed to me that a painter had no right to paint in such an obscure fashion. I felt in a puzzled way that the painting had no subject and was both surprised and bewildered to note not only that the work had great fascination but that it remained fixed indelibly in my memory down to its smallest detail. But all this was still very confused in my mind and I was unable to draw the logical conclusions from it. The one thing that was clear to me was the intensity of the colour, an intensity which I had never even thought possible, which was a complete revelation to me..
...Painting seemed to me to be en dowed with a marvellous power; and, without my being aware of this, even the subject, regarded as an indis pensable part of painting, had begun to lose its importance for me"
With these experiences and ideas Kandinsky arrived at Munich; he was searching for a point of departure from which to realise his pictorial ambitions, but the lessons of Anton Azbé and those of the Academy proved quite unsuited to his ideals. He painted from the model exercised eye and hand, underwent until 1908 the in fluences of many different stylistic tendencies, from the traditional academic naturalism of Munich to art nouveau to the numerous and varied ideas absorbed in the course of his travels. And if, in these years, some of his works are remarkable only for the mastery of their execution, in others an individual note is already apparent. There are landscapes in which freshness of observation is combined with swiftness of execution works of unusual intensity which are worthy to be termed examples of a "Monumental Impressionism'. On the other hand, there are poetic compositions, with a ballet-like rhythm, that depict the life of Russia long ago, romantic villages and mediaeval knights, which recall the fairy tales of his childhood. Sometimes the colouring in tempera on a dark ground attains a chromatic intensity which already foreshadows the works of his maturity; and yet all these early works, despite their interesting features, are no more than a timid prelude to the much greater artistic activity upon which he began to embark in 1908 Kandinsky's first stay at Murnau marked the beginning of a period of development which led to the attainment of results which were complete innovations. Among the great landscapes of the Alps he began to make pictures which were freer in composition and characterised by a burning explosion of colour. By this time Kandinsky knew the art of Cézanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh and the other great moderns; he had seen paintings by Picasso, Matisse and the German Expressionists. Russian popular art, as well as Bavarian glass painting, helped to stimulate his daring use of colour; and yet these cannot adequately account for the fiery expressiveness of the early paintings of Murnau equally far removed from the works of the Fauves as from those of the painters of the Briicke. In paintings of this kind, preferred a relatively compact composi but often d forms in space introduce which paraphrased, with great freedom, the luminosity lased on a fundamental harmony of yellow-red natural reality and and current motifs the works of this phase increasingly lost their particular characteristics to become pretexts for and more inde and while form and colour became more and pendent, the ostensible theme and its representation be came ever further removed from one another. The consequence of this tendency was the progressive aban of truth to nature, up to the point of complete in dependence from the object; as Kandinsky wrote in a pas sage from his "Backward Glances It took many years before I arrived, both intuitively and intellectually conviction that nature and art have ends (and therefore also means) organically and historically different from one another ends equally great, and therefore equally im portant This conviction liberate me, opened up new horizons for me Everything which seemed dead suddenly came to life Everything showed me its face, its inner most being, its secret soul, which is silent more often than it speaks. In this way every point, every line, whether im mobile or in movement, became a living thing for me and revealed its so with all my me. This was enough to make me aware of a new being, with all my senses, of the possibility form of art, the art which today, in contrast to "figurative is known as “abstract’. ...
Source: The Masters 28, Kandinsky, Knowledge Publications, Sir John Rothenstein, Peter Anselm Riedl, translated by Ronald Alley.
For more: http://www.privateart.co.uk/blog/wassily-kandinsky-1866-1944-overview-of-his-life-work-and-travel
In his writing, Kandinsky identified the subject of Composition VI 1913 as the Deluge, or great Biblical flood, a cataclysmic event that ushers in an era of spiritual rebirth. He believed that painting itself resembled such a cataclysm: ‘Painting is like a thundering collision of different worlds that are destined in and through conflict to create that new world called the work.’ Though one can make out the forms of boats, crashing waves and slanting rain, it is the mood of violence and chaos that is more important than the literal interpretation of objects or narrative. The painting is characterised by a powerful sense of movement, created by contrasting light and dark areas of colour, linked by strong diagonals. Conventional perspective has disappeared. Instead, forms and colours are layered and juxtaposed, interacting to create a swirling, three-dimensional effect. The monumental scale of the work adds to this, giving the viewer the sense of being immersed in the space of the painting. These effects contribute to what Kandinsky described as the ‘inner sound’ of the picture.
Exotic wood, teak, East Indian nosewood ivory and dyed ivory; iron fittings Gujarat, India or Sindh (in present-day Pakistan) mid-17th century.
The present writing cabinets were modelled after European totypes and are portable objects which rank among the most prestigious of storage furniture from the 16th century. These costly pieces, were known in Germany as a schreibtisch or "writing desk", where the most coveted and expensive ones were produced. The hinged front drops down to form a surface for writing while the many drawers, some with individual locks, gave access to what was kept in the cabinet's multiple compartments, such as documents, writing implements and paper, or even jewels and other valuables. This type of luxurious piece of furniture was prevalent in the interior furnishings of European noble and patrician households and portable fall-front cabinets of this type were a basic requirement of European officials, merchants and traders living and travelling in Asia. Small, precious writing cabinets and boxes made in Asia with exotic and expensive materials such as tortoiseshell and ivory were much admired and avidly sought after in Europe due not only to their appealing design but also to their technical perfection. As is known by documentary evidence, namely from contemporary trav- el accounts, the production of this type of furniture was based in north-western India, n the coastal regions of Gujarat and Sindh (in present-day Pakistan), which were long-standing centres of production of luxury goods, where firmly established merchant communities from the Middle East, South-East Asia and Europe.
Decorated with two elegant rows of ten (six on the sides) alter nating flowering plants of multiple species some rendered naturalistically and others stylised inside the central field bordered by an undulating frieze of alternating flowers, most probably poppies, a similar, yet more naturalistic rendition of the species may be observed. One characteristic feature of this production, which may also be observed in similar cabinets ve neered in tortoiseshell, a the chequered borders. The in terior is fitted with ten drawers (one simulating two) fitted with small, turned and dyed ivory knobs, set in four tiers with a large square drawer at the centre. While the decora tion on the front of the drawers consists of two flowering plants (except for the centre drawer set with a single, taller flowering plant), the inner side of the fall-front is decorated with two baluster-vases with flowering plants alternating with smaller flowering plants. One curious aspect of its decoration is the presence of small curling clouds crowning the top of the upper row of flowering plants on the front These are clearly reminiscent of Chinese-style auspicious clouds.
On the other hand, similar cloud formations feature regularly in contemporary Persian carpets. In fact, the stylistic similarities between the inlay decoration and tex tiles with floral imagery namely to the so-called "shaped carpets" probably produced in Lahore in terms of their design and transmission, are clearly evident (see Walker 1998, p. 105). A matching rosewood veneered writing from the Victoria and Albert Museum, inv. no. 1599-1903, differs solely in its decoration of the central field of the fall-front exterior, which contrary to the present cabinet, features one single row of three flow ering plants. A similarly decorated table cabinet (28 x 54.9 41.3 cm) with two tiers of drawers, from the second half of the 17th century is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, acc. no. 1976.176.1 (see Merkel 1989, p. 152, cat, no. 161)
The most striking decorative feature on this cabinet is the architectural decoration of the central drawer: a two-dimensional depiction ofa domed pergola or pavilion with a baluster running across the lower section two baluster-shaped columns which support the dome and are crowned by two facing birds he ba on uster column. In the centre, a flowering plan depicted, harbouring as though in her nest, a Pelican vulning herself, a theme also Pelican in her piety with a mother pelican cutting into her own flesh to feed her young with her blood. This is symbol Jesus Christ shedding his precious blood for the redemp tion of Humanity, and also a symbol for the Church distributing the graces of Christ's redemption in the mass and sacraments. It is a symbol of Christian piety and a recur. rent motif in so-called Indo-Portuguese art, used not only a religious context (which is probably the case here) but also in art works commissioned by wealthy officials, noble men and merchants in Portuguese Asia. One similar, albeit smaller example from the Tivora Sequeira Pinto collection 25.9 x 40.5 x 30.1 cm, features a similar design on the central drawer, with a matching domed pergola (see the photos in the slide show)
Source: PedroAguiar Branco AR-PAB Gallery
CHOISES Catalogue , Author Hugo Miguel Crespo,
Art is from the Gallery collection, price on request
Lisbon, AR-PAB Álvaro Roquette - Pedro Aguiar-Branco, Rua D. Pedro V, 69, 1250-093 Lisboa, Portugal, T. +351 213421682
Situated in central Lisbon, the decorative arts collection gathered by Antonio de Medeiros e Almeida (895-1986) is displayed in his former residence, which was turned into a museum in 1972.
The collection, presented in 27 galleries, com prises Portuguese and foreign pieces belonging to a variety of art forms ncluding furniture, painting, sculpture, tex es and sacred art dating from the 2nd century BC to the 20th century CE. Four collections watches and clocks, Chinese porcelain, silver work and fans are highlighted in specific galleries.
Antonio de Medeiros e Almeida was a figure of prominence in Portuguese business, with major interests n the motor trade (importation of English cars, commercial aviation, and the Azorean sugar industry. The success of his business activities provided the means allowing him simultaneously to pursue the collection of works of art. In 1924 he married Margarida Pinto Antonio de Medeiros e Almeida Herique Medina, 1974 Basto (1898-1971), and in 1943 they bought a Parisian-style mansion built in 1896 in a residential area of central Lisbon. After remodelling works, they settled in in 1946 The flourishing of his business ventures following World War gave him access to the international art market, allowing him to frequent the fore most European auction houses and antique dealers and to gain a reputa tion as a grand collector. At the beginning of the sixties the couple began to Tureen pair) make plans to ensure that their collection would be Paul Storr, 1813 preserved intact. In 1968 the architect Alberto Cruz was commissioned to build a new wing over the garden to house part of the collection, and in 1970 the couple moves to a neighbouring house to transform the whole premises into a museum.
Exhibition 02 July - 04 September 2016