Sponsored by Blavatnik Family Foundation and Amsterdam Trade Bank
16 July – 26 October 2014
Tate Modern, Level 3, The Eyal Ofer Galleries
Open daily from 10.00–18.00 and until 22.00 on Friday and Saturday
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 in twentieth century history. Tate Modern presents the first major Malevich retrospective for almost twenty-five years. 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 Tsarist Russia, Malevich witnessed the October Revolution first-hand. His early experiments as a painter led him towards the cataclysmic invention of Suprematism, a bold visual language of abstract geometric shapes and stark colours, epitomised 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 twentieth 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 towards 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 theatre, including his designs for the avant-garde opera Victory over the Sun. The exhibition also follows his temporary abandonment of painting in favour 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 inVitebsk. 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 theStedelijkMuseum,Amsterdam; theStateRussianMuseum,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.
Malevich, with generous loans from the Khardzhiev Collection,Amsterdam, the Costakis Collection, SMCA-Thessaloniki and The State Russian Museum,St Petersburg, is curated byAchim Borchardt-Hume, Head of Exhibitions withIria Candela, Curator, International Art, and Fiontán Moran, Assistant Curator. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue from Tate Publishing and a programme of events in the gallery. The exhibition is organised by Tate Modern in collaboration with theStedelijkMuseum,Amsterdam and the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany,Bonn.