I bought this book at the Phillips Collection bookstore in D.C. this past spring and I am so glad I did. The book was issued to celebrate the reopening of the Lenbachhaus Munich after extensive renovations, and of course it features the painters who have made the Blue Rider group famous, such as Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc. I love the artistic movements at the beginning of the twentieth century, especially fauvism, that used new shapes and stunning colors to express their vision of the world, and the Blue Rider group has long been a favorite of mine. I only knew its most famous members, though, and the book greatly added to my understanding of the group.
I enjoyed most the detailed description of Kandinsky's relationship with fellow painter Gabriele Münter, whom I have to admit I hadn't known about before, and the discovery of wonderful painters who haven't benefited from the same name recognition as Kandinsky and Marc but stunned me with their innovative way of painting, such as August Macke and Alexei Jawlensky. That level of groundbreaking innovation amazes me. We talk about innovation in science and engineering, but the level of stunning creativity needed to bring an invention to market pales in comparison to music by Arnold Schoenberg or paintings by Franz Marc. Those were truly pioneers in their field, ostracized loners who were not afraid of stinging criticism to realize their vision. We could all learn from them.
For those of you interested in seeing the pictures at the Lenbachhaus but unable to make the trip, this YouTube video by ganz-muenchen.de offers an excellent overview of the art on display. Enjoy!