Vasily Kandinsky. Apple Tree (Apfelbaum) (plate, folio 39) from Klänge (Sounds). (1913)

Vasily Kandinsky

Apple Tree (Apfelbaum) (plate, folio 39) from Klänge (Sounds)

(1913)

Author
the artist
Medium
Woodcut from an illustrated book with fifty-six woodcuts
Dimensions
composition: 3 15/16 x 3 15/16" (10 x 10 cm); page: 11 1/16 x 10 7/8" (28.1 x 27.7 cm)
Publisher
R. Piper & Co., Munich
Printer
F. Bruckmann A.G., Munich
Edition
Book: 300 (signed and numbered); 45 h.c.
Credit
The Louis E. Stern Collection
Object number
858.1964.36
Copyright
© 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Illustrated Book
Klänge (Sounds)
Department
Drawings and Prints
This work is not on view.
This work is part of an illustrated book with 55 other works online.
Vasily Kandinsky has 150 works  online.
There are 5,165 illustrated books online.

Vasily Kandinsky's self-described "musical album," Klänge (Sounds), consists of thirty-eight prose-poems he wrote between 1909 and 1911 and fifty-six woodcuts he began in 1907. In the woodcuts Kandinsky veiled his subject matter, creating increasingly indecipherable images (though the horse and rider, his symbol for overcoming objective representation, runs through as a leitmotif). This process proved crucial for the development of abstraction in his art. Kandinsky said his choice of media sprang from an "inner necessity" for expression: the woodcuts were not merely illustrative, nor were the poems purely verbal descriptions. Kandinsky sought a synthesis of the arts, in which meaning was created through the interaction of, and space between, text and image, sound and meaning, mark and blank space. The experimental typography shows his interest in the physical aspects of the book.

PUBLISHING HISTORY

Klänge is one of three major publications by Kandinsky that appeared shortly before World War I, alongside Über die Geistige in der Kunst (Concerning the Spiritual in Art) and the Blaue Reiter almanac, which he edited with one of the group's cofounders, Franz Marc. Fearing poor sales, Munich-based Reinhard Piper only reluctantly published Klänge, and Kandinsky had to guarantee the production costs. More than two years after its release, Klänge had sold fewer than 120 copies. The planned Russian version never materialized. The publication was nevertheless influential on other avant-garde artists, and Futurists in Russia and Dadaists in Zurich recited and published some of the poems.

Publication excerpt from Heather Hess, German Expressionist Digital Archive Project, German Expressionism: Works from the Collection. 2011.

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA's collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

If you would like to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA, please contact Scala Archives (all geographic locations) at firenze@scalarchives.com.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA's archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.