Painting on Light Ground 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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Painting on Light Ground was completed by Wassily Kandinsky in 1916 and this highly abstract piece can be found in the collection of the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris, France, a venue specialising in contemporary art such as this.

This wild artwork features a whole plethora of abstract shapes and lines that together give an atmosphere of a dream-like world that the artist has invited us into. The colour scheme is typically bright and bold but by 1916 the artist had moved on from his focus on landscape painting, now having moved even further into the abstract world. He had reached a point now where items were becoming hard to identify from reality, and we are indeed unsure whether anything here is actually something in an abstract form, or merely just an expression of light and form with no real intention behind it. Kandinsky wanted to throw away traditional artistic principles and start to create new artworks that were entirely unconstrained. One might compare this to the likes of Rothko and Pollock who went on a similar path towards greater and greater levels of abstraction, also to the point where one cannot see anything that they recognise on the canvas.

Once you break away from reality this far, one can have very much their own interpretation and it can be entirely different to what others see. This feels more like a view through a window or an opening in a forest, where one can peak through to see all sorts of magical creations. The link to landscape art maybe from what we know about the previous years of his career, rather than a genuine finding and it is important to study this artist's work at around this time without any pre-conceived ideas as otherwise they are precisely what you yourself will see. When appraising such works, many of the public will simply decide by the colour scheme as to whether they like this work or not, and Kandinsky's own palettes were fairly consistent for several decades, after years of studying this very topic.

You can enjoy this piece up close at the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris, France, though always check ahead to find out what is on display prior to visiting. Exhibitions of Kandinsky's work are common, and so many of his paintings will be loaned out between art institutions from time to time in order to allow curators the opportunity to provide the most comprehensive summary of his work. For example, a Tate exhibition in London brought together a good number of his works in order to tell the full story about his career. There are also a number of his pieces within private collections who are also sometimes willing to allow the public to view them from time to time.