Thursday, October 16, 2014

Passing Time with Malevich

Since October 2013, Kazimir Malevich (1879-1935), one of the most significant 20th Century Russian avant-garde artists  has had  major successive exhibitions of his work at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; *; the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn; and the Tate Modern, London.** The Tate Modern exhibition closes on October 26, 2014.

However, Malevich  aficionados  can continue to wear a diverse group of reproductions representative of his many stylistic periods including Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Primitivism, Cubism, Cubo-Futurism, Suprematism, and Neoclassicism.  Primarily offered through Zazzle, the online retailer, the following  mini-gallery also includes a contemporary artist’s digital derivative from a Malevitch  photograph and the Tate Modern's own Push Watch exclusive to its Malevich exhibition's Museum Shop's product rang    Whether you agree with such appropriated image commercialism or not, it's testimony to Malevich’s creative “fearlessness” as described by Robert Chandler is an excellent article in New York Review, October 9, 2014.   

Here are some favorite selections from my own Malevich gallery:  

 The Knife Grinder (Principle of Glittering), 1912-1913. The dial image is done in Malevich's Cubo-Futurist style and is one of a series of works depicting the everyday lives of peasants in animated, almost frenzied three-dimensional movements.

Attentive Worker, pencil on paper, 1913.  The dial image depicts one of the costume designs done by Malevich for  Aleksei Kruchenykh's Futurist opera Victory Over the Sun. Malevich also did the sets for the production.


An Englishman in Moscow, oil on canvas, 1914.  Cubist-influenced, the dial image  incorporates many different overlapping  objects, including a face (possibly Malevich or Futurist David Burlyuk), fish and bayonet, on many different scales. 


 Suprematism, oil on canvas, 1915. Malevich uses colored geometrical elements on a dynamic axis as the fundamental organizing element for the image. He chose the word Supermatism to describe his own paintings in a 1915 exhibit. It was the first movement to reduce painting to pure geometric abstraction.


Portrait of Artist's Wife N.A. Malevich, oil on canvas, 1933. Late in life, Malevich returned to a Neoclassical style and used it in this portrait as well as his own self-portrait (1933) depicted below .

My Dear Malevich is the creation of Houston documentary photographer Tom R. Chambers.   Called a Pixelscape, it was "found  within a photo of Malevich via magnification, filter treatment [halftone] and isolation of the pixel(s) in Photoshop."


The Tate Modern's Push Watch described as "Unisex, original and quirky....Simply 'push' and the time is shown in a blue LED. The design was specifically created for the Tate exhibition.  It comes in orange (pictured), black, red and blue.

* Kazimir Malevich and the Russian Avant-Garde:  Featuring Selections form the Khardzhiev and  Costakis Collections.  Catalog of the exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum by Sophie Tates, Karen Kelly, Bart Rutten, and Geurt Imanse. Amsterdam: Stedelijk, 2014.

** Malevich [Catalog of the Tate Exhibition] edited by Achim Borchardt-Hume. London: Tate Publishing, (March) 2015.

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