Composition VIII

Composition VIII
Artist Wassily Kandinsky
Year 1923
Medium Oil on canvas
Location Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA
Dimensions 140 x 201 cm
55 x 79 in
Wassily Kandinsky Famous Paintings
Der Blaue Reiter, 1903
Composition IV, 1911
Composition VII, 1913
On White II, 1923
Composition VI, 1913
Composition VIII, 1923
Yellow-Red-Blue, 1925
Black and Violet, 1923
Composition X, 1939
Complete Works

Composition VIII by Wassily Kandinsky is small oil on canvas painting dating from 1923 that is currently in the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

As the name implies, it is the eighth in a series of paintings, begun in 1911, in which the artist expresses what he is trying to achieve. Kandinsky wanted to explore the medium of painting rather than be concerned with subject matter. His goal was to paint what music sounds like.


Composition VIII can accurately be described as a geometric composition. The viewer is immediately struck by the large concentric circles at the top left of the picture. The two inner circles are perfect circles, while the outer has a fuzzy outline.

The rest of the painting is comprised of other circles, semi-circles, triangles, squares, parallelograms and other shapes. Coloring throughout the painting is subtle, except for the striking black and purple of the top left circle.

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