On Saturday I attended a performance of Muse of Fire at the Globe. Afterwards I decided that, as I was right next to the Tate Modern, I would go in and see their new exhibition, Malevich: Revolutionary of Russian Art.
Kazimir Malevich (1879–1935) was an influential and radical artist whose work spanned one of the most eventful periods of Russian, and world, history. This retrospective examines his life’s work, which culminated in his most famous example of suprematism, the Black Square. I must admit I might not have seen the significance of this work, if I hadn’t discovered that it had been banned by the Soviet authorities. Anything deemed worthy of banning surely has some merit. In fact, when I actually saw the picture, I found it strangely compelling and unsettling, like a black tunnel, or a void. I could never have anticipated reacting like this to such a painting.
Suprematist work was, however, only one facet of Malevich’s work as an artist. Over the course of his life he explored landscape, religious painting and images of Russian workers, in both figurative and abstract styles. His range and versatility is clearly on show in this rich exhibition.
The exhibition runs until 26 October.