• Kandinsky

Kandinsky's Improvisation No. 30 (Cannons) Now On View

One of thirty-six works titled Improvisation completed between 1911 and 1914, Cannons of 1913 remains one of Russian artist Vasily Kandinsky’s most influential contributions to modern art. See this generous loan from the Art Institute of Chicago, on view NOW at the CMA in gallery 225!

In a 1913 letter to Chicago lawyer Arthur Jerome Eddy, Kandinsky remarked that the presence of cannons in the painting “could probably be explained by the constant war talk that has been going on throughout the year.” He further noted that “the designation of ‘Cannons’ selected by me for my own use, is not to be conceived as indicating the ‘contents’ of the picture.” This contradiction signals the artist’s continuously evolving approach to removing recognizable imagery from his paintings.

As part of his quest to create purely abstract or nonobjective works, Kandinsky proposed that harmonious colors and forms could express transcendent, otherworldly sentiments instead of mere surface appearances. 

Guest Author

Christopher Moore

The Cleveland Museum of Art

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