In January 1911 Kandinsky was enthralled by the music of Schönberg heard in a concert. He will now endeavor to express through his painting a universal and pantheistic feeling with a rhythm which is equivalent to a breath. For that purpose he no longer needs a narrative excuse nor a perspective and he also eliminates the graphic consistency between lines and colors.
On November 13 in New York, Christie's sells an example from this new experimental phase. Titled Improvisation mit Pferden (Studie für Improvisation 20), this oil on canvas 71 x 99 cm painted in 1911 is estimated $ 9M, lot 9 A.
The lyrical breath is assured by the primordial force of the diagonal rising from lower left to upper right. The figures are more or less identifiable : horses, a blue and yellow couple, a tower, a row of trees. The powerful rising flow is disturbed by a thick semi-circular black line with zigzag.
The final version 95 x 108 cm titled Improvisation 20 (Zwei Pferde) retained the diagonal and the zigzag, with solid colors. Appearing as a mere detail in comparison with its Studie, it does not offer the same amplitude but is indisputably one of the ultimate stages before pure abstraction.
SOLD for $ 12.7M including premium