Monday, January 4, 2010

Wassily Kandinsky @ Guggenheim Museum through 1/13/10


"Thirty" by Wassily Kandinsky 1937


Wassily Kandinsky 1913 or earlier


Portrait of Kandinsky by Gabriele Munter, a German abstract expresssionist painter who was personally and professionally involved with Kandinsky from 1902-1914. Her work is itself rich and intriguing. More on Munter here.

The Guggenheim Museum is presenting a breathtaking retrospective of more than 100 works by this founder of abstract art, culled from its own collection, as well as that of the Pompidou Centre and the Annegret Hoberg, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich. We caught the exhibition last weekend and it was packed, but absolutely, positively worth the visit to view such an extensive and informative exhibition on Kandinsky, the artist and theorist. The exhibtion runs through January 13.

Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky (English pronunciation: /kənˈdɪnski/; Russian: Васи́лий Васи́льевич Канди́нский, Vasilij Vasil'evič Kandinskij; 4 December [O.S. 4 December] 1866 – 13 December 1944) was a Russian painter, and art theorist. He is credited with painting the first modern abstract works.

Born in Moscow, Kandinsky spent his childhood in Odessa. He enrolled at the University of Moscow and chose to study law and economics. Quite successful in his profession—he was offered a professorship (chair of Roman Law) at the University of Dorpat—he started painting studies (life-drawing, sketching and anatomy) at the age of 30.

In 1896 he settled in Munich and studied first in the private school of Anton Ažbe and then at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich. He went back to Moscow in 1914 after World War I started. He was unsympathetic to the official theories on art in Moscow and returned to Germany in 1921. There he taught at the Bauhaus school of art and architecture from 1922 until the Nazis closed it in 1933. He then moved to France where he lived the rest of his life, and became a French citizen in 1939. He died at Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1944. More here

"Concerning the Spiritual in Art" by Wassily Kandinsky is an exploration of his theory and vision on art here

More on the The Guggenheim Museum Retrospective here

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