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LACMA's Expressionist show bridges Germany and France

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Major museums often rely on bankable blockbuster shows with celebrity names, such as van Gogh and Kandinsky. And while the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s newest show contains both those luminaries in its title, don’t expect the walls to be wholly covered with their works.

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Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky goes actually one better, giving visitors an intellectual look into Post Impressionist, Expressionist, Fauvist and Cubist painting by more than 40 artists. They include Gauguin, Paul Signac, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Gabrielle Münter, Franz Marc, Robert Delaunay and Henri Matisse.

The show keys into what the Expressionists saw in landmark exhibitions and collections in Germany, and in their travels to Paris. In total, 90 paintings and 45 works on paper convey relationships between artists of the time.

Located in the Resnick Pavilion, the show (through September 14, 2014) also explores the very origins of Expressionism, chiefly its antagonism with late 1800s French Impressionism.

Highlights include the 1888 Pollard Willows at Sunset (Saules au coucher du soleil) by Vincent van Gogh along with his 1889 The Poplars at Saint-Rémy (Les peupliers sur la Colline). View photo highlights of the show to examine the variety.

Alexander Calder’s mobiles and stabiles on view

Also in the Resnick Pavilion, and included with admission to the Expressionism show: Calder and Abstraction: From Avant-Garde to Iconic.

Scores of Calder's kinetic sculptures –– termed mobiles by Marcel Duchamp –– are presented, along with the artist’s stabiles, or larger sculptures that move subtly through the air, propelled by simple air currents, and sometimes, motors. This is Calder’s first museum exhibition in Los Angeles.

A mobile phone tour of the Expressionist show is available for any iPhone or Android device, and features exclusive content – including insights into 20 works. Some audio commentary is narrated by the exhibition curators. It’s recommended that visitors bring their own headphones for optimal amplification.

  • Reserve tickets for Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky. A one-day pass to LACMA’s galleries and exhibitions plus the Expressionist show is $25.
  • Join LACMA for free admission to exhibitions, previews, guest tickets, and other benefits.
  • View all member benefits here.
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