Van Gogh to Kandinsky

About the Exhibition - Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky

Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky sheds new light on the extraordinary response of artists in Germany and France to key developments in modern art in the early 20th century. For the first time in a major museum exhibition, Expressionism is presented as an international movement in which artists responded with various aesthetic approaches to the work of modern masters such as Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, and Paul Gauguin.

The exhibition features Post‑Impressionist, Fauvist, and Cubist paintings by more than 40 artists—including Cézanne, van Gogh, Gauguin, Henri Matisse, Robert Delaunay, and Paul Signac—that the Expressionists, such as Wassily Kandinsky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Gabrielle Münter, and Franz Marc, were able to see in landmark exhibitions and collections in Germany and on their travels to Paris.

Ninety paintings and 45 works on paper tell the story of the extraordinary cultural dialogue taking place amongst artists of the time. The exhibition features numerous loans from major museums in the United States, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, and various private collections.

This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Kunsthaus Zürich in collaboration with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Funding for the exhibition is provided by Violet Spitzer-Lucas and the Spitzer Family Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Wallis Annenberg Director's Endowment Fund. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Highlights - Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky

Pollard Willows at Sunset (Saules au coucher du soleil)

Vincent van Gogh


Oil on canvas mounted on cardboard. Kröller Müller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands.

Photo Credit: Art Resource, NY.

The Swineherd (Le Gardien de porcs)

Paul Gauguin


Oil on canvas. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift of Lucille Ellis Simon and family in honor of the museum's twenty-fifth anniversary (M.91.256). Photo © 2013 Museum Associates/ LACMA

The Poplars at Saint-Rémy (Les peupliers sur la Colline)

Vincent van Gogh


Oil on fabric. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Bequest of Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. (1958.32). Photo © The Cleveland Museum of Art 

Junges Mädchen (Young Girl)

Max Pechstein


Oil on canvas. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie. Acquired by the federal state of Berlin. © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Pechstein Hamburg / Toekendorf / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Photo © bpk, Berlin /Staatliche Museen zu Berlin /Photo: Roman Maerz / Art Resource, NY

Sketch I for Painting with White Border (Entwurf zu Bild mit weißem Rand)

Wassily Kandinsky


Oil on canvas. Phillips Collection. © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Photo © The Phillips Collection

Reflective Woman (Sinnende Frau)

Karl Schmidt-Rottluff


Oil on canvas. Brücke-Museum, Berlin. © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Photo © Brücke-Museum, Berlin, photographer: Roman März.

Stables (Stallungen)

Franz Marc


Oil on canvas. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Photo © The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation / Art Resource, NY

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Video - Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky

Curators Timothy Benson and Frauke Josenhans talk about the exhibition, their research, and the impact of avant garde art being shown in France and Germany in the early 20th century.

Unframed - Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky

Artist in Focus: Max Pechstein, the Unknown Expressionist
July 2, 2014

When visiting the Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky exhibition, you will notice several striking paintings and prints by the German artist Max Pechstein (1881–1955). Although he may not be as well known today as some of the other Expressionist artists such as Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Emil Nolde, or Wassily Kandinsky, Pechstein nonetheless played a crucial role in the breakthrough of Expressionism…

Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky
June 5, 2014

Today the term Expressionism is widely considered to designate a distinctly German movement. In its beginnings in the early 20th century, however, Expressionism was not assigned to a specific nationality…

Van Gogh to Kandinsky: Behind the Scenes
May 29, 2014

Is there a Van Gogh hiding in this crate? Or maybe a Kandinsky or a Kirchner? It is hard to describe the excitement you feel when you unpack the numerous crates, in which these artworks travel, arriving from major institutions all around the word: New York, Washington, D.C., Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Zurich…