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Rare Complete Set of Kandinsky Prints on View at Springfield Museums

SPRINGFIELD — Earlier this summer, the Springfield Museums unveiled an exhibit of prints by Russian artist Vassily Kandinsky titled “Kleine Welten (Small Worlds),” a portfolio of 12 works created in 1922 using a range of print-making techniques. The Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts is one of only a handful of public museums to own the complete series; other such museums include the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. The exhibit will be on view in the Collins Print Gallery through Jan. 15, 2017.

Known as one of the pioneers of abstract art, Kandinsky (1866-1944) lectured and wrote extensively in support of non-objective art, believing that total abstraction offers the possibility for profound spiritual expression. His paintings of 1913 are considered to be among the first completely abstract compositions in modern art history, as they made no reference to the natural world and were inspired by (and took their titles from) pieces of music. His non-representational paintings paved the way for the development of the abstract expressionist movement that dominated American painting after World War II.

Kandinsky’s “Kleine Welten” portfolio exemplifies the artist’s abstract style, while also demonstrating his achievements with various print-making techniques. Though Kandinsky is perhaps best known for his paintings, this series of prints shows his mastery of lithography, woodcut, and etching. Kandinsky used each method to its best advantage in rendering his abstract compositions, creating a set of prints that showcases the unique aesthetic features of each print-making style.

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