The twitter essence about Kandinsky’s fame would be: Lead art zeitgeist beyond abstraction into nonrepresentational painting activating “inner necessity” emotions, transcendence and spirit.

The gorgeous and sweeping retrospective of painter Wassily Kandinsky at the Guggenheim Museum in NY on view until January 17th is a feast for the eyes, and as Kandinsky himself would hope, for the soul. In this show we see three major shifts in his work corresponding to changes in response to world events and his own psychological development. If you didn’t know it, you might not even think it was the same artist – particularly the first two phases.

Throughout his life, there was one iconic image to which Kandinsky ascribed a magical transformative quality: the horse and rider. We could say the horse and rider was Kandinsky’s Avatar, an alter ego or symbolized part of himself that catalyzed and steered him through life transitions, and served as a psychic compass. The horse and rider is everywhere for Kandinsky: in his autobiography, in paintings, as the name of his major art movement, The Blue Rider, and in the very last painting he created before passing on.

Read more: what Kandinsky said about the horse and rider and how it became his Avatar…

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