‘Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915 – 2015’ is a major new exhibition tracing a century of Abstract art from 1915 to the present day, and is to open at the Whitechapel Gallery, London. The exhibition brings together over 100 works by 100 modern masters and contemporary artists including Carl Andre, David Batchelor, Dan Flavin, Andrea Fraser, Piet Mondrian, Gabriel Orozco, Hélio Oiticica, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Rosemarie Trockel, Theo Van Doesburg and Andrea Zittel, taking over six exhibition spaces across the gallery.
The show is curated by Iwona Blazwick OBE, Director, and Magnus af Petersens, Curator at Large, Whitechapel Gallery, Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915 – 2015, is international in its scope. As well as following the rise of Constructivist art from its revolutionary beginnings amongst the avant-garde in Russia and Europe, the exhibition sheds new light on the evolution of geometric abstraction from continents across the globe including Asia, the US and Latin America.
Arranged chronologically, the exhibition is divided into four key themes: ‘Communication’, ‘Architectonics’, ‘Utopia’, and ‘The Everyday’ in which the latter follows the way abstract art filters into all aspects of visual culture, from corporate logos to textile design.
The exhibition includes paintings, sculptures, film and photographs spanning one hundred years, brought together from major international collections including Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; The Costakis Collection, Thessaloniki; National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh; Tate, London; and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven.
Further exhibition highlights include an entire wall filled with photographs documenting the radio towers of Moscow and Berlin by Aleksandr Rodchenko and László Moholy-Nagy amongst others, blow-up archive photographs of iconic exhibitions running through the history of abstraction and a selection of magazines which convey revolutionary ideas in art and society through typography and graphic design.
The exhibition will begin with one of Kazimir Malevich’s radical ‘black square’ paintings. Alongside Malevich’s Black and White. Suprematist Composition (1915), included in the famous exhibition The Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings: 0.10 (1915) in Petrograd, now St Petersburg, prior to the Russian Revolution of 1917, these iconic works are the starting point for telling the story of Abstract art and its political potential over the next century. The exhibition begins on Jan 15 2015.