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Unity is the sense of wholeness or oneness within the overall artwork, so that the various elements appear to be part of a complete, cohesive whole.


A composition is unified when there is a sense that no portion of the composition could be changed without altering the aesthetic integrity and meaning of the artwork.


Unity will assist to create a sense of harmony.

Introduction to Modern European Art Kandinsky

Kandinsky, On White II, 1923

In On White II Kandinsky designed the composition carefully with reference to placement, shape and colour.


As an abstract artist, he was much influenced by music and therefore sought to make this a unified whole which works harmoniously.


Some unifying elements include:


  •     strong diagonals on both the left and right sides of the artwork

  •     the sense of a circle around key points within the work

  •     repeating colours and patterns

  •     the balanced use of positive (painted) and negative (area of the artwork left

          unpainted) space

Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky  (1866 –1944) was an influential Russian painter and art theorist.


Kandinsky was the founder and active member of some of the most influential art movements.


In 1911 he founded Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) together with Franz Marc, which included such artists as Gabriel Munter, August Macke, Paul Klee, Alexej von Javlensky, and other painters fundamental to Expressionism. He was also a teacher at the German school of art, the Bauhaus.


In his writings Kandinsky promoted abstract art. He formulated his ideas of spirituality in art, his colour theory, and the concept of autonomous color painted apart from an object or form.


Kandinsky wrote: "Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul."


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