Expressionists: Kandinsky, Münter and The Blue Rider at the Tate Modern

24.05.2024
Amber Weir

Expressionists: Kandinsky, Münter and The Blue Rider at the Tate Modern

24.05.2024
Amber Weir

‘Expressionists: Kandinsky, Münter, and The Blue Rider’ at Tate Modern vibrantly displays works from the group of friends and collaborators known as The Blue Riders. Rooted in a shared love for abstraction over rationale, the artists use color as a channel to express meaning and emotions.

The show spans 12 rooms, featuring over 130 artworks, and opens with work by husband and wife Kandinsky and Münter. The exhibition then showcases Eastern European and North American artists. Interestingly, the original Blue Rider’s didn’t follow a prescriptive art model. This allowed the art movement to morph and evolve across nations, with artists being loosely affiliated.

Expressionism appears in different forms. Werefkin experimented with gender and sexuality, which was daring for the time, as traditionally, the theater was the only place for this discussion. Meanwhile, other artists reinterpret landscapes and nature through bold, vibrant colors, distorting natural forms to reflect the essence and spirit of the land and animals.

The later part of the exhibition delves into how The Blue Rider collective expressed light and sound through visual mediums. Inspired by color theory, the artists explore how science and art can create emotions in viewers by using physics, chemistry, psychology, philosophy, and aesthetics. Many of the expressionists were also musicians: Kandinsky was a cellist, and Klee and Feininger were violinists. I particularly enjoyed Kandinsky’s painting “Impression III,” inspired by a concert he attended.

‘Expressionists: Kandinsky, Münter and The Blue Rider’ at Tate Modern until 20 October 2024.