Vasily Kandinsky 1866–1944: A Retrospective Exhibition

Vasily Kandinsky 1866–1944: A Retrospective Exhibition

Contributions by Jean Cassou, Will Grohmann, Nina Kandinsky, Kenneth C. Lindsay, Thomas M. Messer, and H. K. Röthel.
Published in 1962
128 pages, fully illustrated

This 1962 retrospective exhibition of the Guggenheim's signature artist was the first exhibition organized by newly appointed director Thomas Messer and was the most comprehensive showing of Kandinsky's paintings in the United States. The accompanying catalogue gathers three essays organized geographically by Kandinsky's travels, from Russia to Germany and lastly, France. The essays—by Kenneth C. Lindsay, Jean Cassou, and H.K. Röthel—trace his life and the artistic achievements that he made in each country. Color and black-and-white reproductions are accompanied by a chronological checklist, chronology, exhibition history, and bibliography.

A special supplement of loans from the U.S.S.R. also features contributions by the artist's widow Nina Kandinsky and art historian Will Grohmann.


Although the war affected him, he took refuge in painting. Even this tragedy could not darken his life. At this time, Kandinsky was little known in Paris for he was not yet "Parisian." "Wait ten years," they would say to him, "afterwards, you will be one of us." His optimism did not abate, and in his eyes, his work was the only thing that mattered. He knew that the time would come and, indeed, was very close when his art would be fully appreciated and take its rightful place. Kandinsky possessed the wisdom which hurries nothing and put his confidence in the future because he bore a steady image of it within himself. His personality, the charm which radiated from his presence, and a playful affability captivated those who approached him. Before the end of his life, he had become "one of us." And so he will remain forever.

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