In Grey Wassily Kandinsky Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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This complex piece from Wassily Kandinsky was completed in 1919. It now resides within the permanent collection of the Georges Pompidou Center, Paris, France.

We immediately find an extraordinary layout with all manner of shapes interacting with each other right across this large canvas. It is instantly recognisable as being from Kandinsky's hand, such is its similarity to the signature approach with which he is most famous. He would produce a number of study drawings in preparation for In Grey, some of which have survived to the present day and these allow us to understand more about his thought process whilst layout out this design. Whilst to the uninitiated this painting may look like random strokes of paint which bear no resemblance to reality, there was actually a lot more thought put in by the artist, and although much of the forms are hard to identify, that does not mean that the artist was not replicating things from real life within this work. He simply had translated them into his own abstract world that became so influential within 20th century European art.

The original drawings included a sun, and a boat with oarsmen but he chose to remove these in the later painting. The final look is something akin to a constellation, filling the canvas with simple shapes, just as delivered by Joan Miro with his own artistic language. Kandinsky's approach was more varied in terms of shape and line, meaning there are always many items to spot within his paintings, even after you have looked at it for several minutes. To see such artworks as In Grey in person is a real treat, as the true beauty of these large and complex compositions cannot really be understood without seeing the piece yourself. As a master of colour, that also is never accurately represented by photography, making a trip to see this work in person absolutely worthwhile.

The Georges Pompidou Center in Paris, where you will normally find this piece on display, is an exciting art institution with a clear focus on contemporary art. Frida Kahlo's The Frame, The Betrothed and the Eiffel Tower by Marc Chagall, La Blouse Roumaine by Henri Matisse and New York City by Piet Mondrian are several of the stand out items to be found here, though the collection is large and impressive, and so most tastes should be met with a visit to this establishment. Paris itself hosts many of the best art galleries and museums in the world and is hard to beat for art fans with a few days free in terms of a cultural offering, with all major periods and art movements featured allowing one to learn about the full development from the Renaissance up to the present day.