Wednesday, December 16, 2020

High on espresso, Expressionism, and Kandinsky

When I visited Munich in December 1984, I discovered several painters at Lenbachhaus whose work astonished me: Franz Marc, Alexej von Jawlensky, Gabriele Münter, and above all Wassily Kandinsky (born on this day in 1866). A few weeks later in my travels, I learned about a comprehensive retrospective of Kandinsky's entire career that was at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, so I headed there right away and spent two afternoons at the exhibition, high on espresso and Expressionism. After my second visit, I walked for a long time through the winter dark of Paris and everything looked like abstractions, most especially the balcony railings glimmering in the light from the streets. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 16 December)

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