Tate Modern  Level 4 East
22 June – 1 October 2006

To coincide with the major summer exhibition, Kandinsky: The path to abstraction 1908 –1915, Tate will publish, in English for the first time, an outstanding and illuminating collection of correspondence dating from 1911 until 1936 between Wassily Kandinsky, Sir Michael Ernest Sadler and his son, Michael T. H. Sadler (aka Sadleir). The correspondence will be included in a new annotated edition of Kandinsky’s seminal theoretical work, Concerning the Spiritual in Art – Wassily Kandinsky which will be published by Tate in May 2006.

It was Sadler junior who translated Concerning the Spiritual in Art in 1914, a book seen as both crucial to understanding Kandinsky’s theories about abstract art and as a key text in the history of modernism. Housed in the Tate Archive, this correspondence between artist, collector and translator comprises over forty letters, telegrams and cards giving fascinating insights into Kandinsky’s thinking at this time. The material also includes two important prose poems by Kandinsky that have never before been published.

Michael Sadler was the then Vice Chancellor of Leeds University and was one of the earliest collectors of Kandinsky in the UK. His son’s masterful translation has always been essential to any discerning student of modern art.

The correspondence between the Sadlers and Kandinsky was purchased by Tate in 1982 as part of an extensive group of papers relating to the acquisition, administration and dispersal of Sir Michael Ernest Sadler’s art collection.

Kandinsky: The Path to Abstraction 1908–1915 will be the first major exhibition in London to focus on the paintings of Wassily Kandinsky (1866– 1944), one of the most important figures in the evolution of abstraction. It will include fifty paintings and thirty works on paper and will examine the first half of Kandinsky’s career, spanning his time in Munich and Murnau in the first decade of the twentieth-century, his return to Moscow in 1914 and his departure from there in 1922 for Weimar via Berlin, where he accepted a teaching post at the Bauhaus.

Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Wassily Kandinsky, which includes an illuminating new introduction by Tate Curator Adrian Glew, as well as the Kandinsky-Sadler correspondence, will be published by Tate Publishing in May 2006 price £6.99.

Kandinsky: The Path to Abstraction 1908–1915, has been co-selected by Tate Curator Sean Rainbird, for Tate Modern and Hartwig Fischer, Curator, for Kunstmuseum Basel. It will be accompanied by a full colour, illustrated catalogue with essays by Shulamith Behr, Bruno Haas, Noemi Smolik and Reinhard Zimmermann. The exhibition will be at Kunstmuseum, Basel from 21 October 2006 to 4 February 2007.