Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington IUB

Small Worlds (Kleine Welten) VII

Small Worlds (Kleine Welten), Vassily Kandinsky’s portfolio of twelve prints, is widely recognized as one of the masterworks of modern printmaking. Completed in 1922, the year in which the artist began teaching at the Bauhaus, the series represents a tour de force of both technique and imagery. Encompassing three different media—woodcut, intaglio, and lithography—the set explores the expressive possibilities of the graphic arts. With his dynamic compositions, Kandinsky captured the “spirit” of the cosmos in these little prints. Generally considered among the first abstract prints, the images present various states of emotion through the use of color, line, and form. Published by Propylaën Verlag and printed at the Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany, under the artist’s supervision, the series was limited to an edition of 230 sets.

In 1998, Danaë Thimme, the Eskenazi Museum of Art’s late object conservator, generously gave the museum ten prints from this seminal series to add to the three prints already in the collection (including one duplicate print); only five known museums in this country own a complete set (Eskenazi Museum of Art 71.32.1–.2, 98.356–.365, and 71.74).

Vassily Kandinsky
Russian, 1866–1944
Small Worlds (Kleine Welten) VII from Small Worlds (Kleine Welten)
Color lithograph on paper
Image: 10 11/16 x 9 1/8 in. (27.1 x 23.1 cm); sheet: 13 7/8 x 11 3/16 in. (35.2 x 28.4 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Collection of Diether Thimme, 98.360