Wassily Kandinsky’s Kleine Welten (Small Worlds) portfolio exemplifies the artist’s abstract style, while also demonstrating his achievements with various printmaking techniques. Though Kandinsky is perhaps best known for his paintings, this series of prints shows his mastery of lithography, woodcut, and etching. Kandinsky used each method to its best advantage in rendering his abstract compositions, creating a set of prints that showcases the unique aesthetic features of each printmaking style.
Kandinsky was one of the pioneers of Abstract art. He lectured and wrote extensively in support of non-objective art, believing that total abstraction offered the possibility for profound spiritual expression. His paintings of 1913 are considered to be among the first completely abstract compositions in modern art history, as they made no reference to the natural world and were inspired by (and took their titles from) pieces of music. His nonrepresentational paintings paved the way for the development of the Abstract Expressionist movement that dominated American painting after World War II.