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Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) was both an influential painter and art theorist, who is credited with developing abstract art.
Kandinsky, born in Moscow, spent his childhood in Odessa, and began his painting career unusually late at age 30. In 1896, he moved to Germany where he studied at the Munich Academy. It was in Munich that he would help found the Blue Rider artists' group together with like-minded colleagues like Franz Marc and August Macke. After returning to Russia during World War I, Kandinsky would later teach art and architecture at the Bauhaus school until the Nazis closed it. He then spent the rest of his life in France, still as fascinated by color as he had always been. His theoretical treatise "Concerning the Spiritual in Art" promoted abstract art and the idea that all expressions of art were spiritual.
It couldn't come more full cirlce: Kandinsky created his only stage production based on Mussorgsky's piano cycle, "Pictures at an Exhibition," inspired by a photo exhibition. Kandinsky's stage designs are now on exhibit.