In the Blue

Oil on cardboard
80 x 110 cm
Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen,

From Werner Schmalenbach, "Masterpieces of 20th-Century Art":

"The small-format picture In the Blue...uses geometric forms, and here...Kandinsky retains a measure of formal freedom, refusing to accede to the dictates of pure geometricization; there is even a touch of playfulness in the picture, whose forms have a vaguely toy-like appearance. In this work...the geometry is orchestrated in a euphoric riot of color, set against, and anchored in, a deep blue background which introduces a musical connotation and transports the picture into the realm of dream and the irrational. The red disc suggests the sun; the floating forms may be stars and planets; the blue background can be interpreted as the sea or the universe; the form on the left, decked with flags, appears to be a kind of toy sailing boat. Kandinsky frequently declared that geometrical form was only a means to an end. Even in this formally rigorous and seemingly 'rational' phase in the development of his art he refrained from casting aside the ideas of dream and 'Romantism'."