Malevich

Malevich, Tate Modern, Level 3, The Eyal Ofer Galleries, until 26 October 2014

It is nearly a quarter of a century since the last major retrospective of the work of Kazimir Malevich (1879-1935). We are taken on an artistic journey which transverses a turbulent period in Russian history from the days of the last Tsar to those of Stalin.

Kazimir Malevich (1878 - 1935) An Englishman in Moscow 1914 Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

Kazimir Malevich (1878 – 1935)
An Englishman in Moscow 1914
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

It is a comprehensive exhibition which leads us from his early paintings to his growing interest in abstract shapes and his creation of Suprematism, which is best summed up by the Black Square, a painting that is widely regarded as one of the great masterpieces of twentieth century art.

Kazimir Malevich (1878 - 1935) Black Square 1929 © State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Kazimir Malevich (1878 – 1935)
Black Square 1929
© State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

We see his interest in architecture and theatre and his gradual move away from painting to teach and write and by the late 1920s his return to figurative painting. It is a tale of changes in social order, the rises and pitfalls of changes in regimes all of which are reflected in his art.

Kazimir Malevich (1878 - 1935) Dynamic Suprematism, 1915 or 1916 © Tate

Kazimir Malevich (1878 – 1935)
Dynamic Suprematism, 1915 or 1916
© Tate

Have things changed that much today?

 

Kazimir Malevich (1878 - 1935) The Scyther (Mower) 1912 Nizhnii Novgorod State Art Museum (Russia)

Kazimir Malevich (1878 – 1935)
The Scyther (Mower) 1912
Nizhnii Novgorod State Art Museum (Russia)

Kazimir Malevich (1878 - 1935) Suprematist Painting (with Black Trapezium and Red Square) 1915 Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

Kazimir Malevich (1878 – 1935)
Suprematist Painting (with Black Trapezium and Red Square) 1915
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

tate.org.uk,

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