1933 was the end of the line for the wonderful institution that the Bauhaus was. After several unpleasant visits by the Berlin police in April of that year, the director of the Bauhaus, the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, had to negotiate with the authorities. One of the conditions for continuing operations was to dismiss Kandinsky, considered by the authorities to be politically undesirable. The Bauhaus closed down on July the 20th. Later that year, while in Paris, on his way to Germany and returning from vacation in the South of France, Kandinsky heard Hitler's Nuremberg rally speech condemning modernist artists. The warnings were all to clear to him and he decided shortly thereafter to leave Germany for Paris where he found an apartment in Neuilly with the help of Marcel Duchamp. He remained in France until his death in Paris in December 1944 having witnessed the liberation of Paris a few months earlier.
Paris proved to be a very difficult place to establish oneself. Unlike Picasso, Miró, Ernst and many others, Kandinsky was not part of the 'Ecole de Paris'. French collectors were very focused on Cubism and Surrealism and not very open when it came to the work of this Russian born German theoretician. On the American front he had benefitted from the support not only of his Californian based agent Galka Scheyer, who marketed 'The Blue Four' to collectors and who owned the present work, but also of the formidable Solomon Guggenheim who was eagerly buying his work in great numbers with the encouragement of his adviser and mistress the Baroness Hilla von Rebay. In France the support of Christian Zervos, the editor of 'Cahiers d'Art' and of the dealer Jeanne Bucher were not enough to counteract the lack of interest from Daniel-Henry Kahnweiller. Even André Breton threw his weight in favour of Kandinsky: he presents deeper philosophical undertones in his work than any other artist since Seurat: making a clear distinction between those aspects of nature surrounding him which are essential and those which are accidental, he is supremely capable of introducing nature to yield to us a true image of ourselves' (A. Breton, 'Surrealism in Painting', trans. S. Watson Taylor, London, 1972, p.286). Not that Kandinsky was a Surrealist of course but there were visual and compositional links between some of his work in the 1930s and that of artists that were involved with or close to the Surrealists such as Hans Arp and Joan Miro. 'Taches: verte et rose', also known as 'Green and Rose', is a perfect example of Kandinsky's desire to mix elements from his earlier more geometric Dessau work with newer ones derived from organic imagery. The result is a wonderful and subtle ballet of shapes, soft and hard, geometric and organic, either black or couloured in soft pastel tones and floating in a sort of cosmic void in front of a nebulous pale yellow cloud. Floating amongst them one can spot circular shapes that seem to remind one of Duchamp's famous 'rotoreliefs', perhaps a delicate gesture to the friend who helped him move to Paris two years earlier.