Russian artist and theoretician Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) was a significant figure in 20th-century abstraction. His masterwork Painting with White Border (1913; Guggenheim Museum), inspired by his native Moscow, emerged during an intensely creative period in his artistic development. Kandinsky and the Harmony of Silence presents a rare, in-depth examination of the painting and more than fifteen preparatory studies in watercolor, oil, and pencil, along with closely related works made during this influential chapter in Kandinsky's career. This handsome book includes essays illuminating how Painting with White Border also relates to Kandinsky's writings, including Concerning the Spiritual in Art (published 100 years ago) and his autobiography Reminiscences. A jointly authored essay by conservators at the Phillips and the Guggenheim presents the results of a recent conservation analysis of the painting and its related oil sketch (1913; The Phillips Collection), revealing important new discoveries about the artist's creative process, materials, and methods.
Elsa Smithgall is curator at The Phillips Collection; Tracey Bashkoff is curator of collections and exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum; Gillian McMillan is senior conservator at the Guggenheim Museum; and Elizabeth Steele is head of conservation at The Phillips Collection.