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Neue Künstlervereinigung München

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An association of artists founded in Munich in 1909 to provide a more liberal alternative to existing exhibiting venues, particularly the Sezession. Kandinsky was elected president; Alexander Kanoldt (1881–1939) was secretary and Adolf Erbslöh (1881–1947) was chairman of the exhibition committee. Other members included Jawlensky, Kubin, Kandinsky's lover Gabriele Münter (1877–1962), and Jawlensky's lover Marianne von Werefkin (1870–1938). They were strongly influenced by Fauvism and their three exhibitions (1909, 1910, and 1911) were far too advanced for the critics and public alike, provoking torrents of abuse (they were held in the gallery of the Munich dealer Heinrich Thannhauser, who said he had to clean spit off the paintings each evening). The second exhibition was European in character, including works by the Russians David and Vladimir Burliuk; by Le Fauconnier, Picasso, and Rouault; and by members of the Fauves (Braque, Derain, van Dongen, Vlaminck), some of whom had already moved on to Cubism. Franz Marc came to the NKV's defence after this exhibition and it was in this way that he met Kandinsky. When Erbslöh rejected a virtually abstract painting submitted by Kandinsky for the third exhibition, Kandinsky resigned and with Marc founded the Blaue Reiter. They moved so quickly that the Blaue Reiter's first exhibition opened on the same day as the NKV's last, at the same venue, and stole its thunder.

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