Painted in 1913, "Composition VII"by the Russian father of abstract painting Wassily Kandinsky, is a work of internal geometric harmony. It just happens to look like the chaotic confusion at the beginning of all life. The artist’s profoundly influential oeuvre led to the adoption and ubiquity of abstraction in painting, and successfully married the two media that bore the torch of early modernism: music and painting. Inspired by the early expressionist compositions of Arnold Schoenberg, Kandinsky aspired to fix the intricacies of musical composition — previously thought to be an intangible, temporal form of expression — to the canvas. The result was no quick experiment, leading instead to a rejection of academicism and a lifetime of daring and exhilarating fusions of color, shape, and form. Composition VII, painted some ten years before the subsequent Composition VIII, is an intense meditation on the coming conflict that was to engulf the world and redefine borders and the limits of human trauma. Painted just a year before World War I, the work is suffused with the artist’s fascination with the spiritual in art, and reveals a stark premonition of events soon to come. Yet unlike many of his followers such as Jackson Pollock, Kandinsky prepared for his paintings with a meticulous series of preparatory drawings and studies. Characterized by a series of interconnected ‘motifs’ that create a system of dynamic movement through halts, curves, and disjunctions, Kandinsky allows a musicality to emerge within the frame. With an almost mathematical precision, Kandinsky expresses his inner world, and thus successfully breaks the rules of linear perspective that had been in place since the Renaissance.