1866 - 1944
“Kandinsky had a major creative phase in Dessau, perhaps the most productive in his entire life,” writes Nina Kandinsky, the wife of Bauhaus master Wassily Kandinsky, reminiscing about their time together during the Dessau Bauhaus period. Between 1925 and 1933, Kandinsky produced 289 watercolors and 259 paintings; every page, every painting was a finished work.
When Walter Gropius convinced the Moscow-born painter to come to the Bauhaus in 1922, it was a tremendous success for the Bauhaus founder and director. Kandinsky, one of the co-founders of the “Blue Rider” group, was already a big name in the art world. As an artist and teacher, Kandinsky became one of the most important and influential Bauhaus masters. Among other activities, he ran the workshop for mural painting, taught the preliminary course “Abstract Formal Elements” and “Analytical Drawing” and later took over the teaching division “Free Painting”. In 1926, Kandinsky published his book “Point and Line to Plane”, in which he addressed abstract painting, one of the most important books of his time.
More than any other Bauhaus master, Kandinsky was also committed to political issues within the school and city. During the negotiations for moving the Bauhaus to Dessau, the artist had already played an active role with his painter friend Paul Klee, and later defended the school against all accusations and remained faithful to the school until it was closed in 1933. The deputy Bauhaus director maintained contact with the citizens of Dessau, designing stage sets and attending concerts. “I was amazed above all by the physical strength which was necessary to accomplish such an incredible performance,” wrote Nina Kandinsky.
„Ich sah all meine Farben im Geiste, sie standen vor meinen Augen.“
Today, the Bauhaus master is considered one of the pioneers of abstract painting and a pioneer of 20th century art. Visitors to Dessau can get a glimpse of his private life in his house in the Masters’ Houses estate: Kandinsky and his family lived in the duplex together with the Klee family, with whom the Kandinsky family maintained a close friendship and artistic connection.