Guggenheim Museum Bilbao | Kandinsky



NOVEMBER 20, 2020 – MAY 23, 2021


Kandinsky, Black Lines (Schwarze Linien), December 1913
Kandinsky, Black Lines (Schwarze Linien), December 1913
Oil on canvas, 130.5 × 131.1 cm
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection, By gift 37.241
© Vasily Kandinsky, VEGAP, Bilbao, 2020

Drawn primarily from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s rich holdings, Kandinsky traces all the aesthetic evolutions of one of the foremost artistic innovators of the early 20TH century. It also offers an interesting point of view on his influences from Moscow to Munich, from his Dessau Bauhaus studio to Paris.

A pioneer of abstraction and a renowned aesthetic theorist, Kandinsky (1866-1944) pursued a lifelong concern based on “the artist’s inner necessity” in an endeavor to free painting from its ties to the natural world. The exhibited paintings and works on paper reflect on the artist’s increasingly expressionistic style, his utopian experiments, and his desire to translate into color, line, and shape his inner necessity for a more spiritual future through the transformative power of art.

With the support of the BBVA Foundation.

The BBVA Foundation is proud to sponsor this exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao which will examine the career of Vasily Kandinsky, an essential figure in abstraction and one of the leading exponents of 20th-century art.

In today’s world, it is also extraordinarily satisfying for the BBVA Foundation to be able to contribute to restoring both economic and cultural activities. We want to revive the communal spaces that are part of our identity as a society. In this endeavor, museums are crucial platforms for sharing and bringing closer to the public significant cultural legacies which enable us to understand our nature and history.

This exhibition features an important selection of works by this Russian-born painter, who became an artist late, as he began to study painting in Munich in 1896, when he was already 30 years old. The different phases in his life—Kandinsky lived in Russia, Germany, and France, as well as through the two World Wars—and especially his contact with the different avant-garde movements in the countries where he lived, had a clear influence on his work.

Through the chronological organization of the exhibition, the public can immerse themselves in Kandinsky’s oeuvre and witness how his painting evolved, from his early images, which contain an iconography with recognizable realism in the objects and scenes, to his wholehearted incursions into an abstraction which reflects his aspiration to capture the essential.

We encourage you to enjoy this unique opportunity to appreciate the works of a unique artist, and to see how colors and shapes take on a life of their own.

This show was made possible thanks to the effort and outstanding work of the entire Museum team and especially of the curator of the exhibition, Megan Fontanella.

Carlos Torres Vila
President of the BBVA Foundation


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