Friday, June 10, 2011

Triumphs of Abstraction @ The Phillips Collection

Triumphs of Abstraction 
June 11-September 4, 2011

Kandinsky and the Harmony of Silence: Painting with White Border & Stella Sounds: The Scarlatti K Series

 Published in 1911, this year marks the Centennial of Wassily Kandinsky's publication "Concerning the Spiritual in Art". The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC opens two concurrent exhibitions, on June 11, 2011 "Kandinsky and the Harmony of Silence: Painting with White Border" and "Stella Sounds: The Scarlatti Series." The strong gestural forms and sweeping color of Frank Stella recalls the painterly abstraction of Kandinsky. From an interview by Curator Elsa Smithgall, Stella states that the Influence of Kandinsky made a mark on the work of the best Abstract Expressionists. He says the legacy of Kandinsky, Mondrian and Malevich is "insanely modest". In the upcoming exhibitions, you see Kandinsky's influence resurrected in Stella's engagement with three dimensional form invigorated with color and movement. You will be moved to contemplation by the quality and legacy this exceptional exhibition declares the vibrancy of painting! There is an all day symposium on June 11 which will feature Frank Stella, Leo Villareal and others in the auditorium.

Kandinsky and the Harmony of Silence: Painting with White Border

After a visit to his native Moscow in 1912, Wassily Kandinsky (1866–1944) sought to find a way to record the “extremely powerful impressions” that lingered in his memory. Working tirelessly through numerous drawings, watercolors, and oil studies over a five-month period, Kandinsky eventually arrived at his 1913 masterpiece, Painting with White Border. The exhibition will reunite this painting with over 12 preparatory studies from international collections, including the Phillips’s oil sketch, and compare it with other closely related works. Complemented by an in-depth conservation study of Painting with White Border, the exhibition will provide viewers with a rare glimpse into Kandinsky’s creative process.
This exhibition is co-organized by The Phillips Collection and The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.
The Phillips Collection's presentation and the exhibition catalogue are supported by the National Endowment for the Arts

Stella Sounds: The Scarlatti K Series

For the first time in a museum exhibition, The Phillips Collection presents recent works from Frank Stella's Scarlatti Kirkpatrick Series inspired by 18th-century composer Domenico Scarlatti's harpsichord sonatas. Made from lightweight resin, the swirling multicolored polychrome forms with coiled steel tubing armatures are dynamic evocations of the colorful sounds and rhythms of Scarlatti's music. Traveling through space, the sculptures perform like objects on a stage. Each one begins as a hand-crafted model that is scanned into a computer, where Stella refines the design before realizing it at full-scale. Moving at the crossroads of painting, drawing, and sculpture, Stella's Scarlatti K series ushers in a bold new chapter in the artist's exceptional five-decade career.
Source: The Phillips Collection Website

Symposium—Kandinsky: Looking Forward, Looking Back
June 11, 2011, 10 a.m - 5 p.m.
In conjunction with "Kandinsky and the Harmony of Silence: Painting with White Border" and on the occasion of the centennial anniversary of Kandinsky's seminal treatise, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, Frank Stella and leading artists, conservators, and scholars reconsider Kandinsky’s contribution to modern art and his lasting legacy on the art of today. Panelists discuss Kandinsky’s painting methods and techniques, the historical context in which he worked, and how his art and ideas resonate in contemporary art.
Included in admission to special exhibition; free for members
$12 for adults, $10 for visitors 62 and over and students
The Phillips Collection is located at 1600 21st Street, NW, Washington, D.C., near the corner of 21st and Q Streets, NW.

Public Transportation

To visit the Phillips using Metrorail, take the Red Line to the Dupont Circle station. Make sure to use the Q Street exit from the station to avoid several minutes of extra walking. At the top of the escalator, go left (west) on Q Street to 21st Street, NW. The museum is located at 1600 21st Street, in the first block to the right from Q Street.
The Phillips is also accessible via several Metrobus lines.

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