Adventures of the Black Square

Kazimir Malevich, Black Square 1915

Now showing at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, Adventures of the Black Square is a wild though somewhat somber exploration of our humble Black Square. What does it represent? How do we break through to its meaning? The mystique of course surrounds its rather restrictive rigid lines – whatever obscurity it hides – stare at it long enough and you’ll find it challenges your very intellectual perception. Although Malevich’s geometry famously wasn’t absolutely straight edged in relation to the stretcher it was mounted on. There was a humanity to inaccuracies.

When he produced the painting in 1915, forming the foundations for Suprematism, he was working towards a democratic art form, one which would break free of heavy art conventions of form and narrative and therefore be accessible in a wider sense. A purer art perhaps.

The exhibition follows the impact this revelation had, running its course through painting into architecture and graphic novels. The first part of the show has been better received as some of the later associations appear slightly vague, or somewhat tenuous, is a piece of architecture directly influenced by Malevichs legacy because it contains straight lines. Probably not but an exciting exhibition nonetheless.

For more information about the exhibition visit the Whitechapel Gallery website.


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