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Kazimir Malevich, 'Supremus No. 55' 1916, F.A. Kovalenko Regional Art Museum of Krasnodar, Russia. Photo: © David Ertl, Cologne, 2014.

Tate Modern opens major Malevich exhibition

Kazimir Malevich, 'Supremus No. 55' 1916, F.A. Kovalenko Regional Art Museum of Krasnodar, Russia. Photo: © David Ertl, Cologne, 2014.
Kazimir Malevich, ‘Supremus No. 55’ 1916, F.A. Kovalenko Regional Art Museum of Krasnodar, Russia. Photo: © David Ertl, Cologne, 2014.

LONDON – Tate Modern will unveil the first major Kazimir Malevich retrospective in almost 25 years on Wednesday. Sponsored by Blavatnik Family Foundation and Amsterdam Trade Bank, “Malevich” runs through Oct. 26.

Kazimir Malevich (1879-1935) was a radical and hugely influential figure in modern art who lived and worked through one of the most turbulent periods of the 20th century. This groundbreaking exhibition draws on the world’s greatest collections of his work to offer an expansive view of his career in its entirety.

Having come of age in czarist Russia, Malevich witnessed the October Revolution firsthand. His early experiments as a painter led him toward the cataclysmic invention of Suprematism, a bold visual language of abstract geometric shapes and stark colors, epitomized by the Black Square.

A definitively radical gesture, it was revealed to the world after months of secrecy and was hidden again for almost half a century after its creator’s death. It sits on a par with Duchamp’s “readymade” as a game-changing moment in 20th century art and continues to inspire and confound viewers to this day.

Starting from his early paintings of Russian landscapes, agricultural workers and religious scenes, visitors will see Malevich’s journey toward abstract painting and his iconic Suprematist compositions, including almost all the surviving paintings from the legendary “0.10” exhibition. The show explores his collaborative involvement with architecture and theater, including his designs for the avant-garde opera Victory over the Sun. The exhibition also follows his temporary abandonment of painting in favor of teaching and writing, and his much-debated return to figurative painting in later life.

Malevich’s work tells a fascinating story about the dream of a new social order, the successes and pitfalls of revolutionary ideals and the power of art itself. This exhibition, for the first time, offers visitors a chance to trace his groundbreaking developments through well-known masterpieces but also through earlier and later work, sculpture, design objects, and rarely seen prints and drawings.

Tate Modern’s exhibition is rooted in a unique collaboration with the Khardzhiev Collection, Amsterdam, including more than 150 rarely seen works on paper, and the Costakis Collection, SMCA-Thessaloniki, including works by Malevich’s colleagues and students in Vitebsk. In addition the exhibition features over 150 major Malevich works, from iconic Suprematist paintings to architectural models and lesser-known late works, drawn from public and private collections around the world. These include the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg; State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow; MoMA, New York; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the artist’s heirs. Unprecedented in scope, the exhibition sheds new light on Malevich’s career, from his participation in the quest for a new society to his confrontation with the Stalinist regime.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog from Tate Publishing and a program of events in the gallery. The exhibition is organized by Tate Modern in collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn.

For public information call +44 (0)20 7887 8888, visit tate.org.uk , follow @tate #Malevich.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Kazimir Malevich, 'Supremus No. 55' 1916, F.A. Kovalenko Regional Art Museum of Krasnodar, Russia. Photo: © David Ertl, Cologne, 2014.
Kazimir Malevich, ‘Supremus No. 55’ 1916, F.A. Kovalenko Regional Art Museum of Krasnodar, Russia. Photo: © David Ertl, Cologne, 2014.