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New Harmony: Abstraction between the Wars, 1919–1939 celebrates the spirited trends in abstraction of the interwar period.
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Vasily Kandinsky: Painting on Glass (Hinterglasmalerei)
Hans Konrad Röthel
Published in 1966
48 pages, fully illustrated
Marking the centennial of Vasily Kandinsky's birth, this 1966 Guggenheim exhibition, Vasily Kandinsky: Painting on Glass (Hinterglasmalerei), celebrates the artist and his unique works on glass. Influenced by the Bavarian style of craft called Hinterglasmalerei, Kandinsky began using the technique as an informal, playful manner for capturing ideas while he was collectively working on the almanac Der Blaue Reiter. The exhibition catalogue provides an introduction to this work by Hans Konrad Röthel, investigating the writings of Kandinsky and looking particularly into his philosophies on art at this time, prior to his involvement with the Bauhaus. Also included is a complete documentation of Kandinsky's glass paintings. Separated into two plate series, the catalogue first presents each of the works exhibited, as well as an illustrated list of the artist's other existing glass works, presenting a detailed list of Kandinsky's entire series of glass paintings for the first time.
All of my works have only one purpose, or rather, reason—I had to make them, because there was no other way I could free myself of certain thoughts (or, perhaps, dreams). Nor am I thinking of any practical use. I have just got to make the thing. Later, you will understand this better. You say: A plaything! Indeed—everything which the artist produces is only a plaything. He tortures himself, he is searching to find an expression for his feelings and thoughts, he talks with color, form, drawing, sound, word, and so forth. Why? This is a big question. We shall discuss this later. Viewed from the outside, it is only playfulness. To the artist in question, "For what purpose?" has little meaning. All he knows is: "Why" . . . . Works of art . . . must be made, because without making them, the artist would have no peace.