Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York: Solo Exhibition Kandinsky

»Vasily Kandinsky: Around the Circle« – a circular time travel through the life of an artist

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York opens a comprehensive Kandinsky exhibition from its own collection on October 8 2021. Vasily Kandinsky: Around the Circle invites visitors to embark on an unusual time travel through Kandinsky's life's work.

October 05, 2021
Kandinsky in front of his painting Dominant Curve (Courbe dominante, 1936), 1936.
Photo: Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Centre Pompidou, Paris. © Lipnitzki/Roger Violett/Getty Images.
Kandinsky in front of his painting Dominant Curve (Courbe dominante, 1936), 1936.

80 paintings, watercolors, and woodcuts, as well as a selection of his illustrated books, from both Kandinsky's early years in Russia and Germany and during his time in France at the end of his life, will be on view in the exhibition Vasily Kandinsky: Around the Circle at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. It opens on October 8, 2021, and invites visitors to take a very special tour. The works from the Guggenheim collection will be exhibited in the museum's rotunda - but visitors will traverse Kandinsky's life in a spiral rather than a straight line. The entire structure of the exhibition can be understood as an allusion to the artist's drive for intellectual expression.

Vasily Kandinsky, Around the Circle, May–August 1940. Oil and enamel on canvas.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection 49.1222.
Vasily Kandinsky, Around the Circle, May–August 1940. Oil and enamel on canvas, 38 1/4 x 57 5/8 inches (97.2 x 146.4 cm).

The exhibition reveals Kandinsky's attempt to liberate art from naturalistic representations, while still exploring »inner necessity.« Recurring themes range from memory to identity to sensory experience and spirituality - traced in the work of an artist whose work still resonates today. The programmatic title leads visitors in a spiral along Kandinsky's life - chronologically in reverse order. Beginning with his stay in France, when he was focused on natural sciences and surrealism, the journey eventually continues with a decade spent at the Bauhaus. During this time he revived his abstract style after renewed contact with the Russian avant-garde in the late 1910s. The last station of the exhibition deals with Kandinsky's early work, created during his stay in Munich and its surroundings.

Visitors to Vasily Kandinsky: Around the Circle thus vividly experience Kandinsky's questioning of the expressive possibilities of color, line, and form and, in the meantime, embark on an exciting journey through time themselves. How the artist reacted to his environment and thus developed new ways to fathom the spiritual in art, too, is also made comprehensible with the help of the skilful exhibition guide. The solo show in New York can be visited for almost a year, until September 5, 2022.Art.Salon

Vasily Kandinsky, Striped (Rayé), November 1934. Oil with sand on canvas.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection 46.1022
Vasily Kandinsky, Striped (Rayé), November 1934. Oil with sand on canvas, 31 7/8 × 39 3/8 inches (81 × 100 cm).

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