Kandinsky Malevitch Mondrian – The Infinite White Abyss

Cat. K20 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen

Exhibition catalogue, ed. by Marion Ackermann, Isabelle Malz
texts (German/English) by Marion Ackermann, Linda Dalrymple Henderson, Ansgar Lorenz, Jessica Lunk & Nina Quabeck & Anne Skaliks, Margareta Tillberg, Louise Wijnberg & Meta Chavannes
296 p with 160 coloured illustrations
280 x 220 mm, softcover with dustjacket

ISBN 978-3-86442-081-8

78,00 €

The Infinite White Abyss!

»The white, free abyss – infinity lies before us«, according to Kazimir Malevich in 1919 when describing his use of white as a monochrome ground in »Suprematist painting« and as a surface in front of which his geometric shapes seem to float weightlessly. For Wassily Kandinsky, the compositional white area in his expressive abstractions was the all-important opening of pictorial space through which the complexity of the world was to be reflected synaesthetically and thereby art simultaneously ranked alongside science. Piet Mondrian, for his part, tried to find universal harmonies through the depiction of mathematical problems behind visible phenomena. His exploration of »non-colour« in his grids of black lines and primary coloured surfaces forms a »neoplastic system« devoid of any representational function and is unique in the history of painting. On the occasion of the 2014 Quadrennial, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen will premiere an attractive synopsis the work of these three great artists, considered the most prominent pioneers of the avant-garde and of abstraction in the twentieth century. The show will focus upon selected major works and the complex issue of white surfaces, all which is meticulously recreated the catalogue. The discussion of materiality and immateriality of the colour white arising here is also reflected in the latest research results from the restoration process. This leads to some surprising answers that are treated separately. If the colour white provided an umbrella for art, science and parareligions, did it necessarily have to function as a symbol of a future world?

K20 Kunsthalle Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, 5/4–6/7/2014