Rethinking Kandinsky

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

The Guggenheim website suggests one way to view Vasily Kandinsky: Around the Circle: “Kandinsky’s work unfolds in reverse chronological order, starting with his late-life paintings and proceeding upward along the Guggenheim’s spiral ramp.” So let’s start with “Ribbon with Squares”(1944), with its wheel, ribbon, and ladder suspended against a deep purple background. Next, we get to “Dominant Curve” (1936), in which a larger green, red, and white ribbon encloses a brown and yellow centered form. Walking on, we arrive at “Upward” (1929), wherein the right half of a face set in a dark blue background recalls some works by Paul Klee, Kandinsky’s colleague at the Bauhaus. Going further up, how different is “Blue Circle” (1922), in which a triangle, a trapezoid, and a whole variety of other forms float in from the blue circle. And then there’s “Black Lines” (1913), a field a rounded green, blue, red, and white shapes linked by thin, jagged black lines. Next comes “Sketch for Composition II” (1909-10); Kandinsky is backing into abstraction in this high-pitched landscape of a horse and rider, and numerous other figures.

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@peepso_user_337(Debi Slowey-Raguso)
Thankful it will be shown to September. This is a Must see!!! And can't wait!
@peepso_user_75(Kate Hendrickson)
I am not sure as an artist what I should be rethinking about Kandinsky's artwork. I am fascinated by it. I find the compositions complex and the color challenging. Just love it. Seeing the evolution of an artist's work does put it in context of the time period in which it was created. There is a lifetime of creative discovery. Do we need to know exactly what was on his mind at the time what influenced the symbolism within? Kandinsky certainly wrote a lot about art. But, how much has that revealed about his own work? I guess I am just confused over the intention of the exhibition. But still, go and see for yourself.
11 months ago
@peepso_user_337(Debi Slowey-Raguso)
@peepso_user_75(Kate Hendrickson) Related to the hybridization of many galleries to online and off, I am slowly getting over the "Gatekeeper syndrome" of our age past. I actually feel OK that the curator was able to express an idea. I usually ignore curation until after I have looked at the paintings in an exhibition and spent time with those that have called to me from across the room.