'Improvisation 7' second ed. woodcut from 'Klänge' by Wassily Kandinsky
The present woodcut print comes from the second edition of 'Klänge (Sounds),' a book of original graphics and poetry by Wassily Kandinsky. The title of the album and of this print, 'Improvisation,' demonstrated Kandinsky's interest in music and how abstract musical forms could be translated into images on a two-dimensional surface. This particular composition is difficult to read, but through the abstraction, one can make out various figures and a landscape beyond.
7.5 x 5 inches, image
22 x 19.5 inches, frame
1911, second edition ca. 1938
Woodcut in black ink on wove paper
Signed with encircled 'K' in the block, lower right (from the book, signed in ink, ed. 117/300)
Framed to conservation standards using 100 percent acid free archival materials including silk-lined matting with 1/4 inch bevel, museum glass, and a gold-gilded moulding
Ref. Roethel 124
The Museum of Modern Art described 'Klänge (Sounds)' as follows:
Vasily Kandinsky's self-described "musical album," Klänge (Sounds), consists of thirty-eight prose-poems he wrote between 1909 and 1911 and fifty-six woodcuts he began in 1907. In the woodcuts Kandinsky veiled his subject matter, creating increasingly indecipherable images (though the horse and rider, his symbol for overcoming objective representation, runs through as a leitmotif). This process proved crucial for the development of abstraction in his art. Kandinsky said his choice of media sprang from an "inner necessity" for expression: the woodcuts were not merely illustrative, nor were the poems purely verbal descriptions. Kandinsky sought a synthesis of the arts, in which meaning was created through the interaction of, and space between, text and image, sound and meaning, mark and blank space. The experimental typography shows his interest in the physical aspects of the book.
Klänge is one of three major publications by Kandinsky that appeared shortly before World War I, alongside Über die Geistige in der Kunst (Concerning the Spiritual in Art) and the Blaue Reiter almanac