Painting outside the box. The founder of abstract art. The Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), who later lived in Germany and France, is one of the pioneers of twentieth-century art. Nowadays he is regarded as the founder of abstract art and is, moreover, the chief theoretician of this type of painting. Together with Franz Marc and others he founded the group of artists known as the "Blauer Reiter" in Munich. His art then freed itself more and more from the object, eventually culminating in the "First Abstract Watercolour" of 1910. In his theoretical writings Kandinsky repeatedly sought the proximity of music; and just as in music, where the individual notes constitute the medium whose effect stems from harmony and euphony, Kandinsky was aiming for a pure concord of colour through the interplay of various shades. Gauguin had demanded that everything "must be sacrificed to pure colors." Kandinsky was the first to realise this and thus to influence a whole range of artists. Every book in TASCHEN's "Basic Art Series" features: a detailed chronological summary of the artist's life and work, covering the cultural and historical importance of the artist; approximately 100 color illustrations with explanatory captions; and, a concise biography.