The stylistic evolution of Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky, generally credited as the pioneer of abstract art, has evolved in line with the places and communities with which he engaged. This evolution of the artist can be seen at the New York Guggenheim Museum with a major show unfolding the artist’s work in reverse chronological order, beginning with his late-life paintings to the earlier ones.
On a scale that’s rare outside of Europe, more than 80 works by the artist, who also spent much time in France and Germany, are on display in the museum’s iconic upward-spiraling rotunda as part of “Vasily Kandinsky: Around the Circle.” “His was not a fixed path from representation to abstraction, but rather a circular passage traversing persistent themes centered around the pursuit of one dominant ideal: the impulse for spiritual expression,” the curators say.
While the first chapter of the exhibition showcases the artist’s time in France, the visitors later see the paintings from his decade of teaching at the progressive German school of Bauhaus. The final section brings us to his earliest paintings made while he was living around Munich.
The paintings, watercolors and woodcuts of the exhibition show how Kandinsky responded to his environment and developed new ways to probe the spiritual in art. “Vasily Kandinsky: Around the Circle” will be on display until Sept. 5, 2022.