KANDINSKY AND THE AVANT-GARDES
Point and line to plane
30 September 2022 – 10 April 2023
Centro Culturale Candiani, Mestre
Curated by: Elisabetta Barisoni
Autumn at Candiani will be dedicated to Wassily Kandinsky and the European avant-garde movements. From 30 September 2022 to 10 April 2023, the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia is presenting Kandinsky and the avant-gardes. Point and line to plane, curated by Elisabetta Barisoni, at the Candiani Cultural Centre in Mestre. This original MUVE project draws the entire content of the very rich exhibition from its own collections, in particular from the masterpieces of the collections of the Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna di Ca’ Pesaro, an exceptional example of its kind in Italy, especially with regard to the great international artists of the twentieth century.
In the exhibition, alongside Kandinsky, visitors can admire masterpieces by Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger, Enrico Prampolini, Jean Arp, Victor Brauner, Joan Mirò, Antoni Tàpies, Yves Tanguy, Luigi Veronesi, Ben Nicholson, Karel Appel, Roberto Matta, Giuseppe Santomaso, Mario Deluigi, Tancredi, Mark Tobey, Emilio Vedova, Mirko Basaldella, Eduardo Chillida. Bruno De Toffoli, Julia Mangold, Luciano Minguzzi and Richard Nonas.
The exhibition makes use of works purchased by the City of Venice at the various editions of the Biennale, together with others donated by the award-winning artists themselves or by patrons and private individuals, bearing witness to a fascination with Venice and a long history of esteem and gratitude that links the Museums to the city and binds together its cultural institutions, collectors, patrons and artists. This history has resulted in Ca’ Pesaro becoming Italy’s central venue for documenting the tumultuous changes in the twentieth-century international art scene, and one where many masterpieces are permanently displayed.
Through more than 40 masterpieces – including paintings, works on paper and sculptures – the exhibition recounts the fascinating journey of abstract art from its birth to the present day.
Point and line to plane is the title of a famous book written by Wassily Kandinsky in 1926, one of the capital texts of modern art theory. The Russian artist’s research laid the foundations for abstract art in the twentieth century and his theories on non-figurative art combine with the continuous correspondences established in the works, between colours, shapes and sounds.
After the first part dedicated to the Birth of abstract art, the exhibition presents – again thanks to the masterpieces in Ca’ Pesaro – The avant-garde movements between abstraction and Surrealism. Following the line traced out by Klee and Kandinsky, we witness the 1920s experiments of Surrealism by Joan Miró, Yves Tanguy, Victor Brauner and Antoni Tàpies, Jean Arp’s abstract sculpture, Enrico Prampolini’s cosmic analogies and Luigi Veronesi’s musical forms.
The third part of the exhibition explores the persistence of Abstract art after the Second World War. In the 1940s, Kandinsky’s innovations were echoed in Britain by Ben Nicholson, in the international scene by Abstract Expressionism and in Italy by the Fronte Nuovo delle Arti and Astrattismo segnico. From Emilio Vedova to Mario Deluigi, from Giuseppe Santomaso to Tancredi, from Roberto Matta to Karel Appel and on to Mark Tobey, the forms of abstraction in the second part of the twentieth century fall somewhere between informal, lyrical and gestural suggestion.
The exhibition closes with Sculpture towards Minimalism, presenting a fine selection of sculpture that completes the itinerary with masterpieces by Mirko Basaldella, Eduardo Chillida, Luciano Minguzzi and Bruno De Toffoli. These testify to the persistence of the dialogue between abstraction and biomorphism in the 1950s. Finally, the resumption of a radical, almost ascetic abstraction makes its way with the minimalist experiences of Richard Nonas and Julia Mangold, who introduce the visitor to the groundbreaking art of the 1970s and to the revival of a new life of abstract art and forms.
Kandinsky and the avant-gardes is an exhibition that does double duty: on the one hand it indicates the desire of the Fondazione MUVE to embark on a new phase in its collaboration with the Centro Culturale Candiani. On the other, it represents the effective testimony of the new network of relations that the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia has created in a broader territorial area, for the exhibition was already presented between December 2021 and May 2022 in a smaller format at the Galleria Comunale d’Arte Contemporanea in Monfalcone.
The exhibition is part of the extensive MUVE Contemporaneo programme that the Fondazione Musei Civici has organised on the occasion of the resumption of exhibition activities and in conjunction with the 59th Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale.