Exhibition

Adventures of the Black Square, Abstract Art and Society 1915–2015

15 Jan 2015 – 6 Apr 2015

Cost of entry

from £8.85

Whitechapel Gallery

London, United Kingdom

Address

Travel Information

  • Bus: 25, 205, 254
  • Tube: Aldgate East / Aldgate
  • Train: Liverpool Street

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This epic show takes Kazimir Malevich’s radical painting of a black square – first shown in Russia 100 years ago – as the emblem of a new art and a new society.

About

The exhibition features over 100 artists who took up its legacy, from Buenos Aires to Tehran, London to Berlin, New York to Tel Aviv. Their paintings, photographs and sculptures symbolise Modernism’s utopian aspirations and breakdowns.

Presented chronologically the show follows four themes:

‘Utopia’ is expressed through Malevich’s black square, the progenitor of new aesthetic and political horizons, seized by artists from Vladimir Tatlin to Hélio Oiticica.

‘Architectonics’ presents floating geometries that propose new social spaces as imagined by Lyubov Popova or Piet Mondrianand Liam Gillick.

‘Communication’ spreads the message to the masses in manifestos and avant-garde graphics.

The ‘Everyday’ embeds routines and objects in the aesthetics of progress as observed in a textile by Sophie Taeuber-Arp or the abstract motifs painted on Peruvian lorries captured byArmando Andrade Tudela. Middle Eastern artists such asNazgol Ansarinia link Modernism with Arabic and Persian decorative arts; while Western artists such as Lewis Baltz, Peter Halley or Jenny Holzer critique economic and political abstraction. Adventures of the Black Square explores how abstract art has travelled worldwide, permeating our life and times.

Exhibiting artists

Peter Halley

Sophie Taeuber-Arp

Vladimir Tatlin

Jenny Holzer

Lewis Baltz

Hélio Oiticica

Liam Gillick

Lyubov Popova

Piet Mondrian

Nazgol Ansarinia

Armando Andrade Tudela

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