Museum Exhibition Catalogues, Monographs, Artist's Projects, Curatorial Writings and Essays
“Color is the key-board, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul." Wassily Kandinsky, excerpted from Concerning the Spiritual in Art, published by MFA Publications.
Wassily Kandinsky was born in 1866 and is one of the most famous artists of the 20th century.
Published by Guggenheim Museum. Edited with text by Tracey Bashkoff, Megan Fontanella. Text by Mark Antliff, Patricia Leighten, George E. Lewis.
One of the foremost artistic innovators of abstraction in the 20th century, Vasily Kandinsky sought to liberate painting from its ties to the natural world and promote the spiritual in art. This richly illustrated publication looks at Kandinsky anew, through a critical lens, reframing our understanding of this vital figure of European modernism, who was also a prolific aesthetic theorist and writer. A series of thematic essays considers his engagement with avant-garde artistic communities including the Bauhaus, his relationship to improvisation and music, his travels in Europe and Russia, and the influences behind his self-declared anarchist mode of abstraction, among other topics. Tracing Kandinsky’s life and work through his years in Moscow, several cities in Germany, and Paris, the texts offer striking new insights into an artist whose creative production and style were intimately tied to a sense of place—and displacement—and evolved amid the political and social upheavals catalyzed by the Russian Revolution and World Wars I and II. Kandinsky’s history is closely linked to that of the Guggenheim Museum. Solomon R. Guggenheim began collecting the artist’s work in 1929; a year later, they met at the Bauhaus, in Dessau. This book features more than half of the museum’s deep holdings of works by Kandinsky, presenting the full arc of his artistic development and career. Included are paintings in oil and oil with sand, reverse-glass paintings, as well as woodcuts, watercolors and drawings on paper. An illustrated chronicle of Kandinsky’s life and career, including selected exhibitions and publications, rounds out the volume.
Published by Lars Müller Publishers. Edited by Walter Gropius, László Moholy-Nagy.
In 1911, Russian painter and theorist Wassily Kandinsky (1866–1944) published his seminal treatise Concerning the Spiritual in Art; over a decade later, in 1926, he debuted the text’s de facto sequel, Point and Line to Plane. In the latter volume, Kandinsky further develops the ideas that would come to inform not only the Bauhaus School but many other artistic movements: he theorizes that different constellations of point, line and surface have different emotional effects on the viewer. With the singular point as the most minimal graphic form, Kandinsky understands all painterly efforts as an extrapolation of forces and counterforces. This focus on contrasts and the effects of form can easily be seen as contemporary today. As part of the publisher’s ongoing Bauhausbücher series, Lars Müller has released a facsimile edition of Kandinsky’s text translated into English with the original design and typography.
Published by Hatje Cantz. Text by Vivian Endicott Barnett, Shulamith Behr, Reinhold Heller, Jill Lloyd, Peter Vergo, Rose-Carol Washton Long.
This catalogue accompanies a major exhibition devoted to Vasily Kandinsky. It explores the evolution of his work from the Blaue Reiter to the Bauhaus years. During this period, Kandinsky developed his revolutionary abstract style and began to move beyond conventional easel painting. As master of the mural workshop at the Bauhaus, Kandinsky was able to put his ambition to create large-scale art environments into practice, particularly in his mural designs for the 1922 Juryfreie exhibition in Berlin and later in his decorations for the Salon de Musique in 1931. At this time, he developed a strong interest in the Wagnerian concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk, or total work of art. Embracing the principles of synesthesia, Kandinsky focused on the relationship between art and music, pushing the boundaries of the medium.Vasily Kandinsky (1866–1944) began painting at the age of 30, after putting aside a highly successful career in law. After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, he returned to his native Moscow just after the outbreak of World War I. Uninspired by the prevalent Suprematist and Futurist art there, he returned to Germany in 1921, teaching at the Bauhaus until the school was closed by the Nazis. He then moved to France, where he lived until his death in 1944.
Published by Ediciones Polígrafa. Text by Carola Giedion-Welcker, Max Bill.
As a painter and a teacher, and co-founder of the Blaue Reiter, the Russian-born artist Vasily Kandinsky has played a leading role in the unfolding of modern art. Greatly influenced by music-- "music is the ultimate teacher," he once averred--Kandinsky painted his first abstract compositions during his Bavarian period (1906-1914), and these riotously musical canvases, with their intense symphonies of color and wildly jostling forms, have influenced successive generations of abstract artists to the present day. The Swiss artist, designer and founder of Concrete art, Max Bill, whose excellent preface opens this perfect introduction to the world of Kandinsky, was a student at the Bauhaus during the artist's tenure there, and was the editor of the first edition of Kandinsky's collected writings. His inclusion in this volume adds a useful historical perspective, while Carola Giedion-Welcker contributes a concise essay on the artist.
Published by Guggenheim Museum Publications. Edited by Tracey Bashkoff. Text by Vivian Endicott Barnett, Christian Derouet, Matthias Haltemann, Annegret Hoberg, Gillian McMillan.
No other artist epitomizes the character of the Guggenheim Museum quite like Vasily Kandinsky, who is closely linked to the history of the museum and has been collected in depth in the permanent collection since its founding. Kandinsky accompanies the first full-scale retrospective of the artist's career to be exhibited in the United States since 1985, when the Guggenheim culminated its trio of groundbreaking exhibitions of the artist's life and work in Munich, Russia and Paris. This presentation of nearly 100 paintings brings together works from the three institutions that have the greatest concentration of Kandinsky's work in the world: the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich; as well as significant loans from private and public holdings. This traveling exhibition's final iteration at the Guggenheim Museum will investigate both Kandinsky's formal and conceptual contributions to the course of abstraction in the twentieth century, concentrating on his innovations in painting. Kandinsky traces the artist's vision through thematic motifs such as the horse and rider, mountainous landscapes, tumultuous seascapes, apocalyptic imagery and other religious subjects.
Published by MFA Publications, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. By Wassily Kandinsky. Translation by Michael T.H. Sadler with a new introduction by Adrian Glew.
Wassily Kandinsky was one of the most influential painters of the twentieth century, and this text, in which he laid out the tenets of painting as he saw them and made the case for nonobjective artistic forms, is universally recognized as an essential document of Modernist art theory. A brilliant philosophical treatise and an emphatic avant-garde tract, it provides the theoretical underpinnings for Kandinsky's own work and that of his associates in the Blaue Reiter movement. While Michael Sadler's masterful translation has been available and authoritative since its original publication in 1914, what hasn't been published until now is the significant correspondence between the translator and the artist, who followed the progress of his book's transformation closely, and who offered numerous insights into and explanations of its meanings. These letters, from the archives of Tate Britain, have here been appended to Kandinsky's text to provide the first comprehensively annotated edition of this seminal work. This volume, which supersedes any previous edition, includes the letters, Kandinsky's prefaces and prose poems relating to the period in which the book was written and Sadler's selected writings on art. It is more than an expanded edition--it is a major event, the first full account of a remarkable literary collaboration.
Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Essay by Magdalena Dabrowski. Foreword by Richard E. Oldenburg.
Vasily Kandinsky was among the international vanguard artists who experimented with abstraction in the early years of the 20th century. His most powerful and ambitious works were ten monumental canvases he titled Compositions: he painted the first seven in intense succession between 1909 and 1913, and the final three in 1923, 1936, and 1939. Each of these brilliant paintings and their studies explores the sensuous colorism that amateur and specialist alike find so appealing in his art. In the first study devoted to Kandinsky's Compositions as a series, the author unfolds the rich and powerful context of these eloquent images and reveals how their formal principles and iconographical imagery were of almost religious significance to Kandinsky. This book, for the first time, reproduces all ten of the Compositions, along with their studies in oil, watercolor, ink, and pencil. Three of the paintings, which were destroyed during World War II, are repesented through extant photographs.