Kazimir Malevich at the Stedelijk

I have a friend who is a Soviet-ologist (yes, really), and this year is Netherlands-Russia year! Celebrating 400 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries. (This may or may not be going well at the moment.)

As part of these festivities, I have been to a film festival and seen Oktyabr (1928) with amazing accompaniment by organist Joost Langeveld. Two and a half hours of intense Russian documentary about the rise of communism. But this weekend, Himself was able to join us and we headed out to the opening day of the Kazimir Malevich Exhibition on at the Stedelijk Museum.

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This was the largest exhibition in twenty years to be devoted to Malevich and his work.

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The exhibition was setup chronologically and took the viewer not only on a trip though the artists development, but also showed of some of his contemporaries too.

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Some of his work I liked very much.

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Some of it I wasn’t personally drawn to, but I had to admire the expanse of his works. This is a costume from a Russian Futurist opera – Victory over the Sun.

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This opera was being played on a screen. It was … Russian, and … Futurist. Yes. Though in glancing a that wiki page, I can see I wasn’t alone in my assessment. Oh well.

That does bring us around very neatly to the Black Square.

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Notice the Black Square in the upper corner of the room, whose placement refers to the traditional location and display of an icon (a image of a religious figure that theologically makes the divine present in whatever space it occupies). – Source.

There were other pieces too which reminded me of postcards Himself had brought back from an abstract art exhibit I skipped in Sydney.

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Though I preferred, what I perceived to be, more dramatic pieces.

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His work made it to all sorts of media though. From textiles, and ceramics, to sculpture. He was remarkably influential.

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There was an entire space devoted to his teachings with quite in-depth notes about how and why the art was created the way it was. It is just a pity I don’t read Russian.

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It was a wonderful day out, and I must admit, not something I think I would have gone to without prompting. I have learned things which I otherwise wouldn’t have known, and have achieved taking Himself around the Stedelijk!

Yes, that last photograph is a portrait of me and Himself for our mothers’ benefits! The artwork is “Resonance” by Yves Klein (1960)

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