Nov. 26, 2013–March 2, 2014
Vasily Kandinsky and Franz Marc formed Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue
Rider) group in late 1911, the artists predicted a watershed in the
arts, a große Umwälzung
(great upheaval) that would radically challenge traditional artistic
production. Undoubtedly, tremendous creativity and innovation
characterized the years leading up to World War I, especially 1910–14.
Cubism achieved recognition in Paris, sparking new artistic directions
in France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Russia. Art’s more
expressionistic manifestations were at an equally momentous stage in
Germany and Austria; Kandinsky wrote his influential treatise On the Spiritual in Art in late 1911 (published 1912), and abstraction took hold.
This fall the Art Gallery of Ontario presents The Great Upheaval: Modern Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection,
featuring nearly 70 works from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s
holdings. Focusing especially on the years from 1910 to 1918, the
exhibition affirms a period of collaboration, interchange, synthesis,
and innovation, as artists grappled with themes of social fragmentation,
technological development, and the spectacle of the modern city. Many
experimented with new forms of art, giving rise to a host of radical new
styles. Beginning with works by critical precursors who laid the
groundwork for various avant-garde movements—such as Paul Cézanne, Paul
Gauguin, and Henri Rousseau—this chronological exhibition will trace the
artistic developments of the prewar years through paintings and
sculpture by Constantin Brancusi, Marc Chagall, Fernand Léger, Kazimir
Malevich, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, and others.
exhibition is curated by Tracey Bashkoff, Senior Curator, Collections
and Exhibitions, and Megan Fontanella, Associate Curator, Collections
and Provenance, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and was originally
presented at the Guggenheim in New York from February to June 2011.
Franz Marc, Stables (Stallungen),
1913. Oil on canvas, 73.6 x 157.5 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New
York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection 46.1037