The Director’s Archive: Kandinsky: The Munich Years (1900 – 1914)

Modern Art Oxford has hosted many touring ‘blockbuster shows’ during its 50 year history and one of the most celebrated was the 1979 exhibition Kandinsky: The Munich Years (1900 – 1914), which was organised by the Scottish Arts Council in association with the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus in Munich. 

The exhibition brought together 92 works made from the late 1890s to the outbreak of the First World War donated by the German expressionist painter, Gabriele Münter to the Lenbachhaus. The exhibition did not aim to be a comprehensive survey of Kandinsky’s work during this time but traced the development from the Jugendstil compositions of 1900-1905 through to the increasingly apocalyptic abstractions of 1911-14. 

The show concluded with a series of almost wholly abstract mural designs made for the American collector Edwin R. Campbell, founder of the Chevrolet Motor Company, for the entrance foyer to his Park Avenue apartment.  

Modern Art Oxford’s rich programmatic history combines major survey shows of modern art such as this, along with cutting-edge emerging contemporary artists, engaging audiences with the breadth of artistic developments spanning the 20th century whilst continuing to produce new forms of visual culture that resonate with contemporary conditions today.

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