Point, line and plane. Kandinsky and the avant-gardes

The fascinating journey of Abstract art from its birth to the contemporary period

The Project

The collaboration between the Municipality of Monfalcone and the Civic Museums of Venice – MUVE, signed in 2019, has resulted in their first joint exhibition entirely dedicated to the works of the collection at the Ca ‘Pesaro – International Gallery of Modern Art.
Point, line and plane. Kandinsky and the avant-gardes is curated by Elisabetta Barisoni and tells the fascinating journey of Abstract art from its birth to the contemporary period.

The exhibition is featuring outstanding works from the 1920s and 1930s by Wassily Kandinsky, father of Abstract art. Starting from Point and line to plane, the title of the celebrated book written by Kandinsky in 1926, which soon became one of the major texts of modern art theory, the exhibition describes the path of Abstraction through the works and thoughts of the Russian Master.

Since the early 1900s Kandinsky progressively unbound his painting from any reference to reality, giving life to a lyrical abstractionism based on solid philosophical foundations and deep affinities with the language of music. In his non-figurative production the continuous correspondences among colors, shapes and sounds come together. Kandinsky founded the artistic movement Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) together with Franz Marc and Paul Klee: the group proposed a renewal of art starting from its origins. The exhibition displays seven works by Paul Klee covering his entire creative history. Pablo Picasso and other authors were also involved in the Blue Rider expos, including Jean Arp: the exhibition shows a beautiful sculpture that entered the Ca ‘Pesaro collections when the artist won the prize for best sculptor at the 1954 Venice Biennale.

After the first part dedicated to the birth of abstraction, the exhibition presents, again through the masterpieces of the Ca’ Pesaro Gallery, The abstract and surrealist avant-garde. In the 1920s, several artists developed their works following the paths set by Klee and Kandinsky: the experiments of Surrealism by Joan Miró, Max Ernst, Antoni Tàpies, the abstract sculpture by Arp and Alexander Calder, the cosmic analogies of Enrico Prampolini and the musical forms of Luigi Veronesi.

The third part of the exhibition explores the persistence of Abstraction in the post-world war II era. In the 1940s, Kandinsky’s lesson was expressed in the English world through the experience of Ben Nicholson, in the international researches of Abstract Expressionism and in Italy through the Fronte Nuovo delle Arti and the Abstraction of the sign. From Emilio Vedova to Mario Deluigi and Tancredi, from Karel Appel to Mark Tobey, the forms of abstraction in the second half of the 1900s are halfway between Informalism, lyrical and gestural suggestion.

The exhibition ends with a precious selection of sculpture, Sculpture towards minimalism, which completes the itinerary with masterpieces by Mirko Basaldella, Eduardo Chillida, Luciano Minguzzi and Bruno De Toffoli, to testify the persistence of the dialogue between abstraction and biomorphism over the 1950s. Eventually, the resumption of a radical, almost ascetic abstraction, makes its way with the minimal experiences of Richard Nonas and Julia Mangold, introducing the visitor into the thought of the Seventies, to the revitalization of a new life of abstract art and forms.

Viewing room


In general, colour is a power which directly influences the soul.
Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings.
The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another purposely, to cause vibrations in the soul.

Wassily Kandinsky, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, 1912

Exhibition catalogue
Point, line and plane. Kandinsky and the avant-gardes

Curated by Elisabetta Barisoni

Pages: 128
ISBN: 9788896688878
Cover price: Euro 20,00 I.C.

On sale at the Municipal Gallery of Contemporary Art in Monfalcone

Printed in December 2021


The exhibition Point, line and plane. Kandinsky and the avant-gardes at the Municipal Gallery of Contemporary Art in Monfalcone is promoted by the Municipality of Monfalcone in cooperation with Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, with the contribution of Regione Autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia and with the support of several important local institutions, such as Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Gorizia, PromoTurismoFVG, Banca di Credito Cooperativo di Staranzano e Villesse (main sponsor), Il Piccolo and Messaggero Veneto (media partner), Nord Composites Italia and Pragotecna (sponsor).

Municipality of Monfalcone

Mayor Anna Maria Cisint

City Councillor for Culture Luca Fasan

Cultural Activities Service, Municipality of Monfalcone

Tourism, Events, Museums and Exhibition Gallery Office 

Service Director Paola Tessaris

 and coordination
Federica Ghirardo, Gioia Paruta, Fabio Comand

Visitor services, educational activities
Socioculturale S.C.S.
Mira | VE 

Communication and promotion
Federica Ghirardo, Gioia Paruta, Giovanna Volpe, Angela Del Prete

Press office
APS Comunicazione | TS

Graphic design of catalogue
 and coordinated image of the exhibition
Headline, Rovereto | TN

Poligrafiche San Marco Cormons | GO


Fondazione Musei
Civici di Venezia

Board of Directors
President Mariacristina Gribaudi 

Vice President Luigi Brugnaro
Board Members Bruno Bernardi, Lorenza Lain, Roberto Zuccato
Director Gabriella Belli 

Organization Secretary Mattia Agnetti 

Museum Area Manager Chiara Squarcina

Ca’ Pesaro –
 International Gallery of Modern Art Elisabetta Barisoni

Exhibition, catalogue and critical texts by Elisabetta Barisoni

Matteo Piccolo, Cristiano Sant, Annalisa Tonicello
(Ca’ Pesaro – International Gallery of Modern Art)

Coordination of relations 
with universities, research institutes and local institutions
Pietroluigi Genovesi

Sofia Rinaldi with the assistance of Marta Ruffatto

Communication, press and commercial development
Mara Vittori con Andrea Marin, Chiara Marusso, Silvia Negretti, Alessandro Paolinelli, Giulia Sabattini, Valentina Avon (press agent)

Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia Ca’ Pesaro – International Gallery of Modern Art

Conservation, restoration and maintenance
Giovanna Niero
Letizia Satto
Co. New Tech

Photo credits
Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia
Alessandro Zambianchi – Simply.it 
Milano (pp. 111-113-115)

Photo reproductions
Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia

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