Wassily Kandinsky

April 2–28, 2019

The Vault

Wassily Kandinsky, <i>Kandinsky, Periode Parisienne 1934–1944</i>, from <i>Galerie Maeght, Paris</i>, 1969. Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, purchase.

Wassily Kandinsky, Kandinsky, Periode Parisienne 1934–1944, from Galerie Maeght, Paris, 1969. Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, purchase.

This work was selected by Mia Elzy (class of 2018), who explains: “I chose this work because I am fascinated with Kandinsky's idea of separating art from it's literal, physical form and focusing on its spiritual concepts. Kandinsky, among others, founded the German Expressionist group ‘Der Blaue Reiter’—named after Kandinsky's 1903 painting of the same name. For Kandinsky, the color blue stands for a profound awareness of spirituality, with the deepest blues representing the highest facets of awareness. This poster was created for Galerie Maeght, a famous Parisian gallery. What I find most provocative about the work is that it reinforces the debate about what makes art good. Because the work is not figurative, the viewer has to interact with it by applying their own meanings and reactions. It also prompts us to question the ways in which color provokes emotion and a sense of awareness in art.”

The Vault

The Vault, which also houses some of the works from our permanent collection, is dedicated to featuring and displaying works chosen by MSU students who work at the museum. Each month, one of our student gallery guides selects a piece from our collection and writes a short text explaining why they chose it and believe it should be displayed. By providing our gallery guides with an opportunity to participate in the curatorial process of selection and display, we aim to open a dialogue with the student community while simultaneously sharing with the public works from the collection that would otherwise remain in storage.