In 1915 when Kazimir Malevich painted a black square on a square white canvas, he shocked the art world and kick started a whole new approach to modern art: the avant-garde suprematist movement.
A triumph of form over content, it pioneered the development of geometric abstract art.
So it’s no surprise that Malevich’s iconic Black Square is central to the retrospective at Tate Modern in London.
Achim Borchardt-Hume, the exhibition’s curator, said: “The extraordinary thing about this exhibition is that you can for once see the whole trajectory of Malevich’s career. We were able to bring together 420 works from 40 different lenders from 11 different countries and what that means in this case in particular rather than seeing one discreet part of the work – which is normally the case, normally people just see the abstract works, suprematist works or they see the late work in one place – in this exhibition, for once you can actually see the whole gamut.”
Born in Kiev to Polish parents in 1879, Malevich lived through both artistic and political revolution. Symbolism and impressionism, cubism and futurism all found their way into Malevich’s painting which also contains echoes of Matisse, Cezanne and Picasso.
The exhibition runs until 26 October.
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