Guggenheim’s “Kandinsky in Paris, 1934-1944” Review- Gentle Works Amidst a Time on Fire


When the Nazis closed down the Bauhaus school in 1933 it led Russian-born Kandinsky to settle in Paris. 


Visiting an exhibit of some of Kandinsky’s work from his time in Paris, I was reminded by a psychoanalyst friend accompanying me to contrast the turmoil of the times with the largely pastel hues of Kandinsky’s Paris collection. 


Many of the shapes were inspired by his interest in biology and the sciences. Indeed, his painting “Capricious Forms” looks very much like unicellular organisms as viewed through a microscope in a dance of life.



But from a painter who above all emphasized color palettes, the pastels of this series seem to mirror an inner peace in contrast with the times and/or an ability to tune out the real world for an abstracted peaceful one featuring families of interesting shapes gathering around points of interest on the canvass. 


This is a relatively small exhibit room, but sufficient to transport you too into a space of peace and inner contemplation.


One of several exhibits currently at the Guggenheim, the Kandinsky exhibit is sharing space with antipodal imagery and text paintings from Christopher Wool adorning the spiral climb of the museum hall. 



After Kandinsky you might meander into The Thannhauser Collection to see some of the iconic Impressionist works of that collection—from Van Gogh, to Manet, to Cezanne, Renoir and more. 





Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 5th Avenue (at 89th Street)

Sunday 10 am–5:45 pm*
Monday 10 am–5:45 pm*
Tuesday 10 am–5:45 pm*
Wednesday 10 am–5:45 pm*
Thursday CLOSED
Friday 10 am–5:45 pm*
Saturday 10 am–7:45 pm*
Pay what you wish:
5:45–7:45 pm*

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