Vasily Kandinsky: Around the Circle

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Edited by Tracey Bashkoff and Megan M. Fontanella

With contributions by Mark Antliff, Annegret Hoberg Patricia Leighten and 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 multidisciplinary essays considers his nuanced relationships with the avant-garde artistic communities in which he lived and made art; the influence of anarchism and radical ecology; experimental methods of improvisation exploring the interplay between sight and sound; his place among Bauhaus peers whose contributions have been underrecognized; and his return, toward the end of his life, to long-held cultural interests that date back to his early years in Russia. 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 would meet at the Bauhaus, in Dessau. This book highlights more than ninety works from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s preeminent Kandinsky holdings, 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.

Hardcover, 188 pages

Dimensions: 9 x 10.25 x 0.875 in.