“Black is like the silence of the body after death, the close of life.”
— Wassily Kandinsky, 1911
Russian in full VASILY VASILYEVICH KANDINSKY
(b. Dec. 4 [Dec. 16, New Style], 1866, Moscow, Russia – d. Dec. 13,
1944, Neuilly-sur-Seine, Fr.), Russian-born artist, one of the first
creators of pure abstraction in modern painting. After successful
avant-garde exhibitions, he founded the influential Munich group
Der Blaue Reiter
(The Blue Rider; 1911–14)
and began completely abstract painting. His forms evolved from fluid
and organic to geometric and, finally, to pictographic (e.g.,
Tempered Élan, 1944).
Kandinsky, himself an accomplished musician, once said
“Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the
piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching
one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.”
The concept that color and musical harmony are linked has a long history,
intriguing scientists such as Sir Isaac Newton. Kandinsky used color
in a highly theoretical way associating tone with timbre (the sound's
character), hue with pitch, and saturation with the volume of sound.
He even claimed that when he saw color he heard music.