• Weisses Oval, 1919.

    Weisses Oval, 1919.

    Wassily Kandinsky


    March 18–July 3, 2004

    Curated by Evelyn Benesch

    In 1936, when MoMA director Alfred Barr famously charted the evolution of abstract art, he drew a Picassoid bull in which a bulging “Cubism” shaped the head and “(abstract) Expressionism” squeezed into the tail, followed in tiny letters by “1911 Munich.” The reference was to the founding of the Blaue Reiter by, among others, Wassily Kandinsky, the painter, in 1910, of modernism’s first full abstraction. American historians were notoriously swayed by Barr’s model, but how striking that nearly a century later this show should bill itself as “Europe’s first large exhibition of work by Kandinsky.” Showing roughly one hundred paintings, watercolors, and drawings made between 1901 and 1921, the Kunstforum can cleverly still be first by being late.