Wassily Kandinsky: One of the World’s First Abstract Artists

By Phin Upham

Wassily Kandinsky spent his childhood growing up in Odessa, which was heavily influenced by Mediterranean architecture. He enrolled in Grekov Odessa Art School, where he graduated before pursuing a law and economics degree at the University of Moscow. While he’d had art training, he did not formally pursue the subject until the age of 30, when he began to try figure drawing.

As a child, Kandinsky had a very eclectic education in a very beautiful and colorful place. Much of those vistas and those colors heavily influenced his work. He fondly recalled the stimulating colors that surrounded him in his youth.

He was also fortunate to take an excursion to Moscow, where he saw churches that felt to him like vivid paintings.

Kandinsky had a promising career in law, but he gave it up at the age of 30 to pursue figure drawing. During his formative years at art school, Kandinsky began a reputation for theorizing about his art, and became an accomplished painter. As he grew older, his works became more abstract in their line work, but his early paintings are defined by vibrant colors and distinct shapes.

It would be impossible to distill Kandinsky’s style and influence into just a few lines, but he taught the basic design course for Bauhaus and conducted several workshops throughout Germany and France that were highly influential.

Most of Kandinsky’s most well known art was produced in either Germany or France. He stayed in gErmany until the Nazi’s closed the school of Bauhaus in 1933, and he became a French citizen in 1939 where he was heavily influential. He died in 1944 at Neuilly-sur-Seine.

About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or Facebook page.