Kandinskyby Thomas Messer
Vasily Kandinsky (1866-1944) was one of the principal founders of abstract painting, perhaps the most revolutionary development in twentieth-century art. In this book, forty of his major works are reproduced at full-page colorplates. Each has been provided with an accompanying commentary by Thomas M. Messer, Director Emeritus of the Solomon R. Guggenheim/b>
Vasily Kandinsky (1866-1944) was one of the principal founders of abstract painting, perhaps the most revolutionary development in twentieth-century art. In this book, forty of his major works are reproduced at full-page colorplates. Each has been provided with an accompanying commentary by Thomas M. Messer, Director Emeritus of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, which possesses one of the most comprehensive collections of Kandinsky’s art in existence.
Based on decades of experience with the artist’s work, Messer has selected notable paintings from every period of Kandinsky’s long and varied career, drawn from major museum collections. The early years of Kandinsky’s maturity are represented by such remarkable images as the mythological Riding Couple, in the Lenbachhaus, Munich. From the “heroic” period of his workthe years before World War I, which witnessed his breakthrough into a richly colored, high expressionistic abstractionthe plate selection features both Composition IV (The State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg) and Composition VII (The State Tretiakov Gallery, Moscow), two huge apocalyptic paintings generally regarded as among the artist’s supreme achievements. Also included is the complete group of four decorative panels executed in 1914 for the apartment of the American collector Edwin R. Campbell and now in the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The artist’s subsequent body of work, done at the Bauhaus in the 1920s and early 1930s in a geometric style, is strongly represented by such masterpieces as Several Circles in the Guggenheim Museum. From Kandinsky’s final decade, spent in Paris, come paintings given by his widow to the Musée National d’Art Moderne at the Centre Georges Pompidou, among them the valedictory Tempered Elan.
Along with his major artistic achievements, Kandinsky’s highly original contributions to aesthetic theory are also discussed by Messer, in an extended introductory essay. Kandinsky’s critical ideas, developed in the famous Blue Rider Almanac and in his two influential treatises on abstract paintingOn the Spiritual in Art and Point and Line to Planehere provide the reader with intriguing ways to approach his art. A selection of documentary photographs of Kandinsky and his associates and a number of supplementary artworks reproduced in black-and-white complete the volume.
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IF YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT KANDINSKY THE MAN AND HIS ART AND STYLE THIS IS THE BOOK TO HAVE. THE BOOKS' LAYOUT AND PRESENTATION IS EXCELLENT. IT DISPLAYS HIS WORK AND TELLS HIS STORY OF HIS LIFE AND HIS ART WITH GREAT FLARE. I ENJOY LOOKING AT HIS ART AND THE STYLE IN WHICH HE PAINTED.