Featured Artists

Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944)
Born in Moscow in 1866, Kandinsky spent his early childhood in Odessa. His parents played the piano and the zither and Kandinsky himself learned the piano and cello at an early age. The influence of music in his paintings cannot be overstated, down to the names of his paintings Improvisations, Impressions, and Compositions. In 1886, he enrolled at the University of Moscow, chose to study law and economics, and after passing his examinations, lectured at the Moscow Faculty of Law. At the age of thirty, Kandinsky left Moscow and went to Munich to study life-drawing, sketching and anatomy, regarded then as basic for an artistic education.
Ironically, Kandinsky's work moved in a direction that was of much greater abstraction than that which was pioneered by the Impressionists.
 It was not long before his talent surpassed the constraints of art school and he began exploring his own ideas of painting - "I applied streaks and blobs of colors onto the canvas with a palette knife and I made them sing with all the intensity I could..." Now considered to be the founder of abstract art, his work was exhibited throughout Europe from 1903 onwards, and often caused controversy among the public, the art critics, and his contemporaries.
Kandinsky continued painting almost until his death in June, 1944. his unrelenting quest for new forms which carried him to the very extremes of geometric abstraction have provided us with an unparalleled collection of abstract art.

Vincent Van Gogh (March 30th, 1853 – July 29th, 1890)

Van Gogh was a Dutch post-Impressionist painter whose work, notable for its rough beauty, emotional honesty, and bold color, had a far-reaching influence on 20th-century art. After years of stress and talent, he died at the age of 37. His work was then known to only a handful of people and appreciated by fewer still.

Van Gogh loved art from an early age. He began to draw as a child, and he continued making drawings throughout the years leading to his decision to become an artist. He did not begin painting until his late twenties, completing many of his best-known works during his last two years. In just over a decade, he produced more than 2,000 artworks, consisting of 860 oil paintings and more than 1,300 watercolors, drawings, sketches and prints. His work included self portraits, landscapes, still lifes of flowers, portraits and paintings of cypresses, wheat fields and sunflowers.

Van Gogh spent his early adulthood working for a firm of art dealers, traveling between The Hague, London and Paris, after which he taught for a time in England. One of his early aspirations was to become a pastor and from 1879 he worked as a missionary in a mining region in Belgium where he began to sketch people from the local community. In 1885, he painted his first major work The Potato Eaters. His palette at the time consisted mainly of somber earth tones and showed no sign of the vivid coloration that distinguished his later work. In March 1886, he moved to Paris and discovered the French Impressionists. Later he moved to the south of France and was taken by the strong sunlight he found there. His work grew brighter in color, and he developed the unique and highly recognizable style that became fully realized during his stay in Arles in 1888. And the rest is history.


Friedensreich Hundertwasser    (1928-2000)

Austrian-born visionary painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser (born as Friedrich Stowasser; 1928-2000) consistently worked with spiral motifs, primitive forms, spectral colors, and repetitive patterns

LIFE: Hundertwasser was born Friedrich Stowasser in Vienna on December 15, 1928.  His father died in 1929.  In 1943, 69 of his maternal relatives were deported and killed in Nazi concentration camps. During the war Hundertwasser lived in a Viennese cellar with his mother. He was married twice.  Hundertwasser is viewed as an international, independent artist. He traveled, lived, and worked in various locations throughout Europe, the East, North Africa, New Zealand, and Australia and was never formally affiliated with any school of painting or "ism." In 1949 he selected and assumed the name Hundertwasser (Hundred Water), and in 1969 Friedensreich (Kingdom of Peace), often adding Regenstag (Rainy Day), a name that he originally invented for the converted sailing ship upon which he sometimes lived.

        ART WORK: Hundertwasser's paintings were heavily influenced by the Vienna Secession traditional of Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt and  Paul Klee. In 1953 the spiral motif first appeared in his work and became the most consistent formal element of his mature style. Throughout his career Hundertwasser used the six spectral colors almost exclusively. His later work combined these with metallic colors such as gold, silver, bronze, or aluminum. A diverse artist, Hundertwasser also designed a church in 1987 and a day-care center in Frankfurt, Germany (1987). He created postage stamp designs for Austria, Senegal, and the Cape Verde Islands.  Although Hundertwasser first achieved notoriety for his boldly-coloured paintings, he is more widely known for his individual architectural designs. These designs use irregular forms, and incorporate natural features of the landscape. The Hundertwasserhaus apartment block in Vienna has undulating floors ("an uneven floor is a melody to the feet"), a roof covered with earth and grass, and large trees growing from inside the rooms, with limbs extending from windows. He took no payment for the design of
Hundertwasserhaus, declaring that the investment was worth it to "prevent something ugly from going up in its place".

 DEATH: On February 19, 2000, Hundertwasser died of a heart attack aboard the Queen Elizabeth II cruise ship. He had been returning to Austria from New Zealand.

(credits for info and photos: http://en.wikipedia.org/)