Wasily Kandinsky (1866-1944)
"Le Zigzag Rouge"(Red Zigzag) 1943
oil on cardboard
Size: 42 x 58 cm
Signed and dated with a monogram “K 43” (lower left),
dated and signed by Kandinsky with a monogram “K” on the reverse. PM
price: 6,5 Mio. euro plus 10% commission
Nina Kandinskaya (the (second) wife of Wassily Kandinsky);
Wilhelm Löffler (Professor of Medicine, the Kandinskys’ family doctor), Switzerland;
Anna Seelig-Löffler (Doctor of Biology);
EXHIBITED (the labels on the reverse confirm participation in the exhibitions):
Paris, Galerie L’Esquisse, 1944;
Zurich, Kunsthaus, Braque – Kandinsky – Picasso, 1946, catalogue No. 100;
Bern, Kunsthalle, 1955, catalogue No. 107;
New York, Guggenheim Museum, Kandinsky in Paris, 1985, catalogue No. 153;
Lugano, Museo Cantonale d’Arte, Kandinsky in Private Collections of Switzerland, June 4 –
October 8, 1995.
Wassily Kandinsky, Spisok proizvedenii IV (List of Works), No. 712;
Will Grohmann, Wassily Kandinsky. Life and Work, New York, 1958, No. 342.
Hans K. Rothel, Jean K. Benjamin, Kandinsky. Illus- trated Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil
Paintings, 1916 – 1944, Volume IV, No. 1149, New York, 1984;
Matthias Haldemann, Harmony and Dissonance: An Awakening in Painting and Music, 2006.
The linear composition of the painting illustrates that in the 1930 – 40s Kandinsky’s vision
was closely associated with mysticism and spirituality. Le Zigzag Rouge is based on the
artist’s concept of “inner sight”. In an article in the Danish journal Konkretion (1935) Kandinsky
expands on the concept as follows, “This sight penetrates the hard shell, the “external”
form, into the interior of things and lets us perceive the inner “pulsation” of things with all
our senses.” The analogies between nature, art, and technology were embodied in a series
of abstract paintings depicting biomorphoric shapes similar to invertebrate sea creatures or
embryological forms. His sources of inspiration included encyclopaedias and biological works
such as Ernst Haeckel’s Kunstformen der Natur (Art Forms in Nature) and Karl Blossfeld’s
famous photo collection Unformen der Natur (Prototypes in Nature) as well as the works of his
fellow artists and sculptors in Paris such as Jean Arp, Joan Miro, Alberto Magnelli and others.