Adventures of the Black Square – Abstract Art and Society 1915–2015 is a major exhibition taking Kazimir Malevich’s radical painting of a black square as the emblem of a new art and a new society.
The exhibition features over 100 artists who took up its legacy, including among others Dan Flavin, Piet Mondrian, Gabriel Orozco and Rosemarie Trockel. 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, Piet Mondrian and 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 bySophie Taeuber-Arp or the abstract motifs painted on Peruvian lorries captured by Armando Andrade Tudela. Middle Eastern artists such as Nazgol 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.
Curators: Iwona Blazwick OBE, Director, and Magnus af Petersens, Curator at Large.
Outset Israel supported the presentation of Zvi Goldstein’s work ‘Element C-14, 1978/1982’, from the Tel Aviv Museum of Art collection.
Donation: Zvi Goldstein’s work ‘Anomalous Model XY 422’ was donated to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art by the artist and Outset Contemporary Art Fund.