New Malevich Exhibition in St Petersburg

To one of the most mysterious and not fully understood artists of the previous century – Kazimir Malevich – The Russian Museum of Fine Arts dedicates its last exhibition of 2013. Kazimir Malevich was a great innovator treating space, forms, and colors of art in a completely new and unusual ways. Having started as an impressionist and a follower of the Sezanne method of painting he managed to create his own art language known as Suprematism. The pivotal moment in Malevichs’ art was when he painted his most famous work – the Black Square – which he used to call ”a royal child” with the allusion to the infant Christ. Due to the importance of the painting in Malevichs’ life the current exhibition was entitled ”Black Square. Before and after”.

Curators of the museum prepared something special for visitors. First of all they displayed a great number of his works – over a hundred, in the Benois wing – a part of the Russian Museum of Fine Arts situated on Griboedov Canal. Most of the paintings belong to the museum itself, others were taken from the Museum of theatre and music in St Petersburg. Paintings, drawings, and sketches are arranged chronologically so that visitors can trace the development of Malevichs’ art. But maybe the most impressive exhibit is the video showing a modern reconstruction of the first futuristic performance ”Victory over the sun’.’ It was initially created in 1913 by Malevich and his associates – a poet A. Kruchyonyh and a composer M. Matyushin. Costumes for all the actors were designed by Malevich and here he expressed his ideas of dominating colors and their relation with forms. Working on this project Malevich represented the sun as a black square on the act curtain. At the end of the second act the actors tore apart the curtain breaking with old artistic values and conservatism in art. The new production of the performance was realized by the Moscow theatre of Stas Namin in 2013.

In the last two rooms visitors can admire his Suprematism works, including a latter version of the first ”Black Square” (1923), ”Red Square” (1915) and ”Composition with the Mona Lisa” (1914) and works of his realistic period showing us peasants and common people.