BEAUBOURG, Kandinsky

Audio File length: 3.02
English / USA Language: English / USA

Like I mentioned, one of Beaubourg's strengths is its incomparable series of Wasilly Kandinsky's masterpieces, from all stages of the painter's career. When the great Russian painter died in 1944, his widow left the artist's entire collection of works to the museum. You will thus be able to fully follow the evolution of one of the most revolutionary artists of the twentieth century. Let me tell you the most significant parts of his biography: in the beginning, Kandinsky was a brilliant lawyer in Moscow who seemed to be starting a college career as a law professor. But at thirty, young Wasilly suddenly changed his mind and decided to move to Munich to study painting. He began by painting fairy-tale and poetic illustrations of traditional Russian stories, then from Munich he moved to the alpine village of Murnau and began to depict landscapes. But shortly thereafter, the natural landscape images dissolved, and were replaced by strongly contrasting spots of color which had less and less to do with real places and objects.

In 1910, Kandinsky threw himself into Abstract Art. He began painting spots and streaks on canvases in absolute freedom, as well as writing theoretical essays and building relationships with other avant-garde artists and groups. Aware of the poetic force of color, he abandoned figures entirely to open himself to the adventure of abstract painting, which is seen as a free combination of shapes and colors. The paintings of this period are a vortex of more or less solid colored masses, which start at the center and propagate irregularly in all directions, without any limits or references.

At the outbreak of World War I, the painter returned to Russia and enthusiastically participated in the Revolution of 1917. In the 1920s he returned to Germany to teach at the famous Bauhaus school. His paintings never lost their rich color, but began to be dominated by more regular geometric shapes. After the closure of Bauhaus and with the advent of Nazism, Kandinsky moved to France definitively.


FUN FACT: in Munich in 1937, the Nazis held a painting exhibition called "Degenerate Art": among the canvases on display, several were of Kandinsky. Instead of destroying them, they were happy to sell them off. They never would have imagined that the prices would have escalated so much over time!

And with this we have finished our tour of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. MyWoWo thanks you for staying with us, and will see you at the next Wonder of the World!

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