1981by Eric Whollem
acrylic, watercolor, bronze powder, and earth pigments
in polyvinyl emulsion on paper
Collection of the artist.
4 7/8" x 4.5"
Copyright by the artist.
Wassily Kandinsky is considered the father of abstract painting. He was a
Theosophist and had been influenced by Leadbeater and Besant's book,
Thought Forms, which presented the idea that our thoughts manifest as
distinct geometric or organic shapes, characterized by colors which indicate
As to whether Kandinsky was the first abstractionist can be debated, of
course. Paleolithic artists utilized sophisticated geometric patterns in their
cave art. Rock art in general around the world tends towards abstraction.
Also in India, abstract metaphysical images in paints on palm leaves
certainly preceeded Kandinsky. Some say that Kurt Schwitters art may
have been the first modern European abstractions.
Whoever was first does not matter all that much. That is just a matter of
dates and historical records. What counts, of course, is the excellence of
Abstract art, mixed media painting, Kandinsky.