Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) was a pioneer of abstract modern art. His work exploited the evocative interrelation between color and form to create an aesthetic experience that engaged sight, sound, and emotion. He believed that total abstraction offered the possibility for profound, transcendental expression. Highly inspired to create art that communicated a universal sense of spirituality, he innovated a pictorial language that only loosely related to the outside world, but expressed volumes about the artist's inner experience. His visual vocabulary developed through three phases, shifting from his early, representational canvases and their divine symbolism to his rapturous and operatic compositions, to his late, geometric and biomorphic flat planes of color. Kandinsky's art and ideas inspired many generations of artists, from his students at the Bauhaus to the Abstract Expressionists after World War II.