Modern and Contemporary Art
Circles in a Circle
Vasily Kandinsky, French (born Russia), 1866 - 1944
Oil on canvas
Currently not on view
1950-134-104The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950
LabelIn an entry for a 1950 collection catalogue of the Société Anonyme, the artist Marcel Duchamp wrote: “In tracing his lines with ruler and compass, [Vasily] Kandinsky opened to the spectator a new way of looking at painting . . . a clear transfer of thought on canvas. This has been the real contribution of Kandinsky towards a conception of esthetics.” These laudatory words easily apply to Circles in a Circle, in which geometric forms and subtle color harmonies combine to make an effervescent, abstract composition. Through the Société Anonyme, an art organization led by American collector Katherine Dreier and designed to generate awareness of modern art, Duchamp helped to secure Kandinsky’s first solo exhibition in this country.