Kandinsky and his groups

Went last Saturday to see the Kandinsky exhibit at the Guggenheim (reviewed here in the NY Times), there through 1/13/2010.  Kandinsky is one of Scott Draves’ favorite artists and influences.  The large pieces really looked terrific in the Spiral setting of the Guggenheim, where you could see them en masse from across the open center or up close (when there wasn’t a huge crowd gathered).

The show is organized chronologically, and I found myself more enchanted with his early work and his later works; there was a time in the middle there that was not so inspiring.  I especially liked some of the watercolor prints that were located off to the side in one of the smaller galleries and wondered about the technique that looked almost like spray paint or a lithograph, but wasn’t.

One of the most interesting parts of Kandinsky’s history, which I hadn’t known anything about, was his habit of forming groups of like-minded artists, presumably to insulate himself from the distain of the establishment and to surround himself with inspiration (the Times calls him an “art community organizer”).  The more I read about Kandinsky’s efforts in this regard, the happier I became that we are starting LISA.

Kandinsky was a co-founder of the Neue Künstlervereinigung München (New Artists’ Association), but when that group dissolved he started another group, Der Blaue Reiter (the Blue Rider), which only got the chance to put on a couple of shows and publish a book before WW1 forced him out of Germany.  Previously, he had been a member of the Blue Rose group in Moscow and had organized a group called the Phalanx in Germany.  Subsequently, he helped found the Institute of Artistic Culture in Moscow, became a teacher at the Bauhaus in Germany, and formed a group of artists called Die Blaue Vier (the Blue Four) to lecture and exhibit in conjunction with three other artists.

Although I am neither an artist nor a trained art theorist, I love the idea of bringing people together who have these credentials and more, for fascinating discussion, sharing, and inspiration.  I found Kandinsky’s art and life’s passions inspiring and hope we can capure some of his enthusiasm and ideals with Leaders in Software and Art.