Kandinsky at the Guggenheim New York






Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum



Kandinsky
September 18, 2009 > January 13, 2010



A full-scale retrospective of the paintings of Vasily Kandinsky — the visionary artist, theorist, and pioneer of abstraction — at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum through January 13, 2010.





Vasily Kandinsky


Vasily Kandinsky
Improvisation 28 (second version) 1912
Oil on canvas, 111.4 x 162.1 cm
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection, By gift 37.239
© 2009 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris





This comprehensive survey comprising nearly 100 of Kandinsky’s most important canvases from 1902 to 1942 is drawn primarily from the three largest repositories of the artist’s work—the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York, and the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau in Munich—as well as from significant private and public collections.

Complemented by more than 60 works on paper from the collections of the Guggenheim and Hilla von Rebay foundations, this retrospective traces the painter’s oeuvre, focusing on the key events that informed his life and work.

Marked by two world wars and the Russian revolutions, Kandinsky’s abstraction did not develop in detachment or isolation. Kandinsky, the first comprehensive retrospective of the artist’s career in the United States since the three surveys mounted by the Guggenheim Museum in the 1980s, reveals the complex background to his aesthetic innovations.

The unprecedented collaborative efforts of the Guggenheim, Pompidou, and Lenbachhaus have allowed this exhibition to include examples from Kandinsky’s Improvisations, Impressions, and Compositions series, and to demonstrate the artist’s formal and conceptual contributions to the course of abstraction in the 20th-century. Kandinsky will feature works that have rarely travelled, such as the Lenbachhaus’s early masterpiece Colorful Life (Motley Life) (Das bunte Leben, 1907), and the Guggenheim Museum’s Light Picture (Helles Bild, December 1913)—a seminal work among the first of Kandinsky’s truly abstract canvases that has not been exhibited in the museum’s own galleries since the 1970s—offering new contexts and comparisons for all the works.


Vasily Kandinsky


Vasily Kandinsky
Yellow–Red–Blue (Gelb–Rot–Blau), March–May 1925
Oil on canvas, 128 x 201.5 cm
Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Gift of Nina Kandinsky, 1976
© 2009 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
Photo: Adam Rzepka, courtesy Collection Centre Pompidou, Paris, diffusion RMN

Vasily Kandinsky


Vasily Kandinsky
Various Parts (Parties diverses), February 1940
Oil on canvas, 89 x 116 cm
Gabriele Münter- und Johannes Eichner-Stiftung, Munich, on deposit at the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich
© 2009 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
Photo: Courtesy Gabriele Münter- und Johannes Eichner-Stiftung, Munich

Vasily Kandinsky


Vasily Kandinsky
Sky Blue (Bleu de ciel), March 1940
Oil on canvas, 100 x 73 cm
Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Gift of Nina Kandinsky, 1976
© 2009 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
Photo: Philippe Migeat, courtesy Collection Centre Pompidou, Paris, diffusion RMN





The survey traces Kandinsky’s thematic motifs, such as the horse and rider, mountainous landscapes, tumultuous seascapes, apocalyptic imagery, and other sacred subject-matter references, and follows the artist’s painted realizations of his well-developed aesthetic theories, allowing a reexamination of the geographical- and time-based periods traditionally applied to his oeuvre.


Catalogue

An illustrated 320-page catalogue accompanies the exhibition, and contains five comprehensive art historical texts and a conservation study of Kandinsky’s work. The contributors to the catalogue are Vivian Endicott Barnett, art historian and Kandinsky scholar; Tracey Bashkoff, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Christian Derouet, Curator at the Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Matthias Haldemann, Director, Kunsthaus Zug, Switzerland; Annegret Hoberg, Curator at the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich; and Gillian McMillan, Senior Conservator, Collections, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The catalogue also features an extensive illustrated chronology compiled by Hoberg, as well as a selected bibliography. Priced at $55 for the hardcover and $35 for the softcover, the exhibition catalogue Kandinsky can be purchased at the Guggenheim Store or at the Online Store




Courtesy Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Images © 2009 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris





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~ by Stampfli & Turci on October 6, 2009.

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