Once upon a time, back when lush, sensual, gestural abstract painting was regarded as the most advanced art around, Wassily Kandinsky was king of the hill. Since then his star has followed that style of work into, if not eclipse (we're talking the likes of Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still and Willem de Kooning, after all), then certainly into the shade. Now, in honor of the 50th anniversary of its landmark spiral building, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is hosting a full-scale Kandinsky retrospective. Makes sense: The museum's founder bought more than 150 works by the visionary artist, whose purely abstract aesthetic became the institution's early hallmark. Seen already in Europe, the show will have its only American presentation at the Guggenheim. Opens Friday Above: Vasily Kandinsky's "Improvisation 9," from 1910.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum