Friday, April 11, 2014

Mark Leary's Kandinsky-Inspired Mobile Series @ The Milwaukee Museum of Art

 Squircles and Squares with Concentric Circles

I’m honored (and excited) to announce the Milwaukee Museum of Art invited me to create a series of “inspired by” mobiles to celebrate its upcoming Kandinsky retrospective.

Running from June 5 to September 1, the exhibition is a grand tour of Wassily Kandinsky’s lifetime of creativity — showcasing over 130 of his finest pieces from the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and the Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley Collection at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Spanning his time in Der Blaue Reiter, Russia, and the Bauhaus, the works I chose to explore range from oil to watercolor to color lithographs:

Simple (Einfach), 1916
Small Worlds II (Kleine Welten II), 1922
Violet (Violett), 1923
Thirteen Rectangles (13 Rechtecke), 1930
Fragment I for Composition VII (Center), 1913
Squares with Concentric Circles, 1913

As you can see in the images below, the depth, dimension, and extraordinary movement found in each of the originals is truly exceptional … naturally inviting a 3D interpretation.

After sitting with each piece of artwork, the mobile designs seemed to emerge one by one from the images … as if they’d been there all along.

Then, using a variety of subtle (and not-so-subtle in the case of Squircles) painting techniques, I was able to transform the flat surfaces of the mobile blades into textured layers reading more like paper or canvas than metal (can't really see this nuance in the small-ish attached images).

If you are in the Milwaukee area this summer, I highly encourage you to check out the exhibition and experience Kandinsky’s genius for yourself. And, if you do, be sure to visit the outstanding Museum Store to see my mobiles for yourself (before they’re gone, of course).

Thanks again to the MAM for this amazing opportunity to celebrate such an important and inspiring artist.