17. June - 14. August 2016 Eremitage St. Petersburg

IN CELEBRATION OF WASSILY KANDINSKY'S 150th BIRTHDAY

Hermitage honors the most significant Russian artist of expressionism

In the year 2016, Wassily Kandinsky would have celebrated his 150th birthday. The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg dedicated an exhibition to the famous abstract artist. The Hermitage is one of the largest and most famous art museums in the world counting over three million exhibits, of which the majority are displayed in the Winterpalace – the former main residence of the Russian Tzar.

Startring on 17 June 2016, the museum will display “The Attraction of Non-objectivity. On the 150th Anniversary of the Birth of Wassily Kandinsky”, which was previously on displayed in the Tretyakov State Gallery in Moscow. The exhibition shows meaningful paintings by Kandinsky such as “Composition VI” and “Composition VII”, which will be presented next to each other for the first time since 1989. Both paintings from 1913 demonstrate his fundamental ideas about art – strongly influenced by the music theory from the early 20th century – and are considered key workpieces of the abstract artist.

Wassily Kandinsky was born in Moscow on 4 December 1866. After graduating from University, he worked as a painter and settled in Munich, where he made a significant contribution to the Blue Rider. In collaboration with Franz Marc, Kandinsky organized the first exhibition with the like-minded group of artists, Blue Rider, and developed a new art genre in which colors and shapes are applied freely. Kandinsky released numerous publications detailing his ideas. In 1914, he returned to Moscow after Germany declared war on Russia. The conditions in the new Soviet-Union – the restrictions in artistic freedom imposed by the new rulers – became increasingly unbearable. He decided to move back to Berlin in 1921, where he started teaching at the Bauhaus. This is where he was first introduced to Russian constructivism, allowing geometric structures to finally find their way into his paintings. After the National Socialists closed the Bauhaus in 1933, Kandinsky moved to France where he died on 13 December 1944.

The work of Kandinsky is still meaningful in the world of art today. Numerous museums – including the Hermitage in Russia and the renowned Guggenheim Museum in New York – display art pieces from the artist who is inarguably one of the most important people in modern art. The exhibition of the Hermitage celebrating the 150th birthday of Kandinsky clearly shows this. The exhibition is opened until 14 August 2016.

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