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Kandinsky – The Knight-Errant

The father of abstract art will be on display at the Mudec from 15 March to 9 July

The rumors were in the air for some time now, but we’ve finally got confirmation that the father of abstract art, Wassily Kandinsky has arrived in Milan, and will be on display at the Mudec from March 15 to July 9.

The date was chosen to celebrate the centenary of the Russian Revolution (which had a strong impact on Kandinsky) and to celebrate 150 years since Kandinsky’s birth. The exhibition showcases the concept of the journey, and it is no accident that the Mudec – The Museum of Cultures – was chosen as the location of the exhibition, given its close relationship between art and ethnography.

49 works will be exhibited here and 85 drawings produced by the artist since childhood, all of which have never before been seen in Italy. The exhibition has a central pilgrimage, partly internal and personal, and partly physical, detailing how Kandinsky moved from Russia before arriving in Germany.

The first phase of this fantastic exhibition is linked precisely to the mother country, especially to Vologda and to all the objects and traditions that were part of the artist’s everyday life.

The knight-errant is a recurring theme and grew out of Russian folk stories and fairy tales. Always present, even in the white winter landscape, despite the strong influences of Orthodox iconography. In 1900 the artist decided to leave his home in Moscow to undertake a challenging path, which led to his arrival in his new homeland, Germany. Here began the second and perhaps most important trip – one towards abstraction. Kandinsky was aware and frightened by the materialism gripping the world at that time and needed to offer not only an alternative, but an escape. He felt the need to move away from objectivity and the simple world of appearances to open up to inner emotions.

Abstraction burst into the artist’s life as a revelation. It is said that everything started when Kandinsky saw an overturned framework in his studio which he immediately loved. That simple canvas which at first see to be understandable, represented truly new figures, subjective and personal that from then on would be the basis for all of his work. Great importance and influence came from music, in particular that of Schonberg, and the artist began using shapes and colours which visually translated the emotions in music.

All of this led to the creation of abstract masterpieces that will be visible for the first time in Italy at the Mudec. The curators of the exhibition, Silvia Burini, Ada Masoero and Giuseppe Barbieri, have the exhibition totally immersive through multimedia interaction tools and sound rooms.

It is sometimes said that people don’t make journeys, but rather journeys make people. Perhaps for Kandinsky this is exactly what happened, and now his immortal art continues on its journey, arriving in Milan today, and who knows where tomorrow… This is a must see!

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