Friday, November 30, 2012

Kandinsky Exhibition in Pisa

We took a train ride to Pisa to visit the Kandinsky Exhibition .

It focused on his work up to the early 1920's.and highlighted the influence of Russian folk art and his connection to other Russian painters of the time. It was a fascinating exhibition and an opportunity to see many paintings I have not seen before.  

 The vibrance of the colour even after nearly 100 years was fantastic and it seemed  that whether painting totally abtract or in representational mode which he did at the same time he produced very good paintings. It seems that right from the beginning he grasped the essential fact that painting is about coloured pigment on canvas.

Alongside the Kandinskies were paintings by many other Russian artists of the period none of whom I had ever heard of and it gave you the impression that pre World War One Russia was where modern art really started,  and while the English were suffering the Pre-Raphaelitism and other  victoriana, and protesting about the decadence of post Impressionism the Russians were exploding with great energy, exploring ideas that were breaking free from the stagnation that  European art had got into. 
It could be that many Russian painters were still so connected to their history of folk art and Icon painting that  releasing  the grip of purely representational painting came easier to them.

The  painting above by  Mikhail Vrubel, was painted in 1901.He was a  painter of amazing abilty whose total individuality has meant his exclusion from being  included in the story of the progression of modern art.

He died in a Mental hospital in 1910 aged of 54.

Another Russian painter that impressed me was.

Unfortunately the exhibition ended with the start of Kandinsky's Bauhaus years, where his work began to have more well defined boundaries.

The exhibition is on until February and I firmly intend to revisit before it ends.

Pisa was also a visual  delight as usual.

1 comment:

  1. Great post Neil - it was a fantastic exhibition. What amazed me was that the Vrubel was painted in 1901 - so early!!