Ascending the iconic Guggenheim spiral I was startled by Vasily Kandinsky’s BLACK LINES (1913) pictured above. The popping jewel luster anemone-like shapes leaped out from Kandinsky’s canvas awash with a pristine and complete abstraction.
Considered to be among the first of Kandinsky’s non-objective paintings, BLACK LINES is appropriately placed as the very first painting of the note-perfect VISIONARIES: CREATING A MODERN GUGGENHEIM show.
Celebrating the exquisite taste, passion and dedication of Solomon Guggenheim and his fellow collectors, there is a homecoming feel to see these sacred paintings displayed so lovingly in the very space that helped to make them great.
Solomon Guggenheim along with friend/collaborator Hilla Rebay’s radical and experimental shared vision became the guiding philosophy for the foundation of the Guggenheim Museum in 1937. Their mutual quest was to amass a collection of art defined by non-objectivity and spirituality. It is of interest to note that the forerunner to the Guggenheim Museum was called The Museum of Non-Objective Painting.
Continuing the upward climb of Frank Lloyd Wright’s stellar Guggenheim building, the brilliant work just kept unfolding – Alexander Calder, Marcel Duchamp, Paul Klee, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso…every few steps up the great Guggenheim is another well-loved painting or sculpture – oh, THAT one! The show is a Who’s Who list of the marvels of early 20th Century Art.
This exhibit is much like stumbling upon an “Oldies” radio station, hearing those well-worn favorites, and suddenly recalling the moxie, rebelliousness and danger the music held upon first hearing. Visionaries: Creating A Modern Guggenheim is a must-see and a fresh glance at some of the most momentous Art from any century.