Tate Modern Talk

Artist's talk: David Batchelor

David Batchelor, ‘I Love King’s Cross and King’s Cross Loves Me, 8’ 2002–7
David Batchelor, I Love King’s Cross and King’s Cross Loves Me, 8 2002–7. Tate. © David Batchelor

David Batchelor’s work comprises three-dimensional structures, photographs and drawings, mostly related to a long term interest in colour and urbanism. To coincide with the Malevich exhibition at Tate Modern, Batchelor hosts his talk The Story of the Un-Square Square. Discussing his personal response to the paintings of Kazimir Malevich, Batchelor looks at the artist’s rather irregular use of regular forms, at the small group of abstract paintings that have a single coloured square at their centre, and at the enigmatic late figurative works. Batchelor also explores how the work of Malevich has informed his own practice since he was first introduced to the Black Square over forty years ago.


David Batchelor is an artist and writer based in London. Born in Dundee, Scotland in 1955, he studied Fine Art at Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham (1975-78), and Cultural Theory at Birmingham University (1978-80). He has exhibited widely in the UK, continental Europe, the Americas and, more recently, Asia. Recent exhibitions include Concretos, New Art Centre, Salisbury (2014); Wall to Wall Centro Universitario Maria Antonia, São Paulo (2013); Flatlands, Spike Island, Bristol and The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2013); Chromophilia: 1995-2010, Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro (2010); and Colour Chart, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2008) and Tate Liverpool (2009). His installation Chromolocomotion, commissioned by the Terrace Wires art programme, is on display in the Grand Terrace at St Pancras International Station until September 2014.

Batchelor’s books include The Luminous and the Grey, an inquiry into when colour begins and when it ends, both in the material world and in the imagination (Reaktion Books: London, 2014), Found Monochromes, a collection of his photographs of single square and rectangular white planes and panels encountered on walks through London and other cities (Riding House: London, 2010) and Chromophobia, Batchelor’s book on colour and the fear of colour in the West (Reaktion Books, London, 2000). He also edited Colour (2008), an anthology of writings on colour from 1850 to the present, published by Whitechapel, London and MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. 

Tate Modern

Starr Cinema

London SE1 9TG
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Date & Time

1 October 2014 at 18.30–20.00

Related events

  • Tate Modern


    16 Jul – 26 Oct 2014
    Malevich exhibition at Tate Modern, opens 16 July 2014

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