“Theme & Improvisation: Kandinsky & the American Avant-Garde, 1912-1950,” at the Dayton Art Institute, Ohio.
December 12, 1992—January 31, 1993

Art exhibitions that attempt to trace the influence of an artist or style may seem a cinch to organize, but in fact they are among the most difficult to bring off successfully. When one deals with a famous style, such as Cubism, the task can be relatively easy. But when one deals with a lesser-known style based on complex aesthetic ideas—and particularly when those ideas reach their audience through poor translations—then the task becomes complex.

Maryanne Lorenz and Gail Levin met and overcame the inherent obstacles in “Theme & Improvisation: Kandinsky & the American Avant-Garde, 1912-1950.” The exhibition began its national tour at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., last fall and will be...

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