Almanac Art: Vasily Kandinsky – ‘Around the Circle’: Art Gallery of New South Wales



Vasily Kandinsky was the excuse for our spur of the moment trip to Sydney.


Reading of Kandinsky’s exclusive exhibition of works from the Guggenheim on show at the Art Gallery of New South Wales I knew a visit to Sydney was only a plane ticket away.


A Jetstar Friday Frenzy sale enabled cheap flights to Sydney to be purchased coinciding within the exhibition dates, a hotel booking made, then we were on our way.




I have been an avid admirer of Kandinsky’s work for a long time. Abstract art profoundly attracts me through its application of line, colour, shape, and form to create a work of art. This in turn provides me the opportunity to examine and explore the presented concepts to create my own meaning and impressions of the work, and Kandinsky undoubtably invites the viewer to enter into his realm of ideas and to appraise them in his art. You can visualise whatever you want to see in the work, make up your own mind regarding whatever its message maybe, and arrive at what it means to you.




Our walk to the gallery on a picture-perfect day of bright and vivid colours highlighted by the brilliant sunlight of Sydney set the scene perfectly in anticipation of what was to come.


Meryl and I were not disappointed, the exhibition was absolutely stunning and incredibly breathtaking. The mastery of Kandinsky’s compositions, the way he draws you into his work by the delicate and imposing line, especially the use of circles to which the eye is quickly focussed upon, – a larger circle often a dominate feature in many of his works, establishes the genius and greatness of the artist. The colours at the same time are dramatic, yet subtle, but they also jump out at you, and again you cannot help but be attracted by his use of colour.




The exhibition displays Kandinsky’s work in chronological order to enable the viewer to observe the subtle changes made to his artistic style and approach over many years. From landscapes painted in a more traditional manner, to works influenced by Impressionism -especially Monet, until finally, his move into the abstract. These shifts in his approach suggests at critical times throughout his career Kandinsky reacted to influences affecting his life and work to incorporate them creatively in his craft.





The exhibition is on display until 10 March 2024 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Details can be found Here.


The works on display in Sydney are mostly from the same exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum. Below is a video tour of the Guggenheim exhibition.



More from Col Ritchie can be read Here



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About Colin Ritchie

Retired teacher who enjoys following the Bombers, listening to music especially Bob Dylan, reading, and swimming.


  1. Peter Crossing says

    Thanks for this comprehensive report Colin. We too enjoyed the Kandinsky exhibition on our recent trip to Sydney. We joined a tour of the exhibits with one of the gallery education staff who gave an excellent presentation. Most informative. My wife Deborah sent a photo of one exhibit to our son who and seen Kandinsky’s work at the Guggenheim. He somewhat cheekily replied that he was glad to see that his fridge magnet was the right way up.
    Also in Sydney we enjoyed a great meal with friends at a Vietnamese restaurant in Crows Nest, did some rubber necking of the harbour, the bridge, the opera house and the movable throng at Circular Quay (I love it) but missed out of seeing a nephew play cricket due to the rain. We also downed a pint at the Republic Hotel where the resident DJ needed a kick up his loudspeakers. I’ll take some decent CDs for him to play on our next visit.

  2. Wayne Matthews says

    You and Meryl have covered a fair bit of ground on your Sydney visit CGR. It’s been a few years since our last visit as well. Your description of visiting the Kandinsky exhibition gave an excellent insight. As an aside, each morning I pass Wendy Whiteley. She seems to be preparing for a morning swim. She also greets visitors at our front door. I can’t claim to have chosen the print.

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