Works by Vasily Kandinsky On View at the Guggenheim thru Spring 2016

Works by Vasily Kandinsky On View at the Guggenheim thru Spring 2016

Even if you haven’t been, I’m sure you’ve heard of the famed Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, if not for the works housed within, you are probably most familiar with its façade—the cylindrical building designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, which definitely stands out against its Museum Mile neighbors.

Well, this Upper East Side institution also boasts a pretty extensive collection of Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, early Modern and Contemporary works from legends of the art world. One such legend, Russian-born early 20th-century Expressionist and Abstract painter Vasily Kandinsky, has strong ties to the venerable Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s history: Hilla Rebay, the museum’s first director, encouraged founder Solomon R. Guggenheim to begin collecting Kandinsky’s work in 1929 and to meet the artist at the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany, in July 1930.

I’d say that meeting went pretty well because today the museum has the largest collection of Kandinsky works in the U.S. And, if that wasn’t impressive enough, the man behind such vivid abstract works as Blue Mountain (Der blaue Berg), 1908–09 even has a gallery space in the museum named after him, where a rotating selection of his works are often on display.

On view now thru Spring 2016, the Guggenheim presents an intimate selection of his work that traces Kandinsky’s aesthetic evolution. The exhibition, on view in the Kandinsky Gallery, includes paintings selected from the artist’s early beginnings in Munich at the start of the century, the return to his native Moscow with the outbreak of World War I, his interwar years in Germany as a teacher at the Bauhaus, and his final chapter in Paris. The exhibition highlights the influences that gradually led to his turn towards abstraction. For more on the exhibition, click here.

Image: Vasily Kandinsky, Improvisation 28 (second version) (Improvisation 28 [zweite Fassung]), 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

 

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