Vasily Kandinsky (1866-1944) developed rather late as an artist. He did not pursue this vocation until the age of 30, when he left his native Russia and moved to Munich. Once there, and after hearing Austrian composer Arnold Schönberg’s pantonal music, he began to formulate his ideas about an art of abstraction, one that would aspire to the condition of music in being able to generate emotion without recourse to specific subject matter. His 1911 breakthroughs had a defining impact on twentieth-century art.
We are pleased to trace the journey of Vasily Kandinsky from Blaue Reiter to the Bauhaus in this exhibition. The curator for the Kandinsky show is Jill Lloyd, organizer of several major exhibitions at the museum, including Christian Schad and the Neue Sachlichkeit, Van Gogh and Expressionism, and Ferdinand Hodler: View to Infinity. Her concept for this show, linking Kandinsky to music and theater in his pursuit of the Gesamtkunstwerk, or total work of art, is fresh and original. Her design partner in the realization of the show is Peter de Kimpe, who has brought exactitude and imagination to the task of installing the work of Kandinsky.
We were fortunate to receive important loans from several key partners, including The Museum of Modern Art, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Walker Art Center, Fondation Beyeler, and Centre Georges Pompidou. Our sincere thanks to all of them. Our greatest thanks are reserved for our President and co-founder, Ronald S. Lauder, who has admired and collected Kandinsky for many years.
Director, Neue Galerie New York