An exhibition marking the Centre Pompidou’s 40th anniversary
Vassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), the inventor of abstract art, is one of the most important gures in modern art. From 29 October 2016 to 29 January 2017, the Musée de Grenoble is holding an exhibition devoted to the nal decade of the artist’s life (1933-1944), generally referred to as “The Paris period”. As the rst show in France since 1972 to be devoted speci cally to this last phase of Kandinsky’s oeuvre, as part of a partnership with the National Museum of Modern Art – Centre Pompidou, the museum is enjoying the loan of an outstanding selection of works, rounded o by pictures coming from other great international institutions.
Taking refuge in Paris after leaving Germany in 1933, when the Nazis had just closed the Bauhaus school, where he had been teaching since 1922, Kandinsky set up home, with his wife Nina, in an apartment in Neuilly-sur-Seine. This is where he would develop a thoroughly original style, combining the geometric vocabulary of the Bauhaus years with random and undulating compositions from the previous decade. What is more, in uenced by his readings of scienti c books about the evolution of life, a whole repertory of biomorphic motifs hailing from the world of cells and embryology began to ll his works and lend a very special avour to this latter-day style.
This period in the artist’s life, which remains the least well-known to the general public, enhanced by Kandinsky’s exchanges with the artistic circles of Paris, his heightened interest in the sciences, and a keener form of spirituality, was gradually marked by a sense of exile which deeply a ected his art. It is the interaction between these di ering factors that this exhibition intends to shed light on. To do so, thanks to a precise selection of paintings and drawings, every year of this nal decade will be represented. This chronological path, sprinkled with all the biographical facts which stake it out - meetings, exhibition, and more speci cally from the outbreak of World War II on, turned a political exile - his ight from Nazism—into an inner exile, informed by all sorts of both artistic and autobiographical reminiscences.