Wassily Kandinsky described painting as a “thundering collision” of worlds in conflict.
“Technically, every work of art comes into being in the same way as the cosmos — by means of catastrophes,” he wrote on the eve of World War I. “The creation of the work of art is the creation of the world.”
Somehow, Kandinsky created canvases equal to those god-like aspirations, works of art among the most convulsive, sensual and inventive in the history of art. He was the first among a handful of artists to revolutionize art on a level not seen since the Renaissance by emancipating artworks from the recognizable world, by creating pictures that pictured nothing at all.
Because no artist played a greater role in the invention of abstraction, presentations of Kandinsky’s work understandably focus on his more revolutionary works, the greatest hits, so to speak. This was true for a Kandinsky retrospective that filled the swirling