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Malevich and the American Legacy

March 3–April 30, 2011
980 Madison Avenue, New York

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation video

Installation video

Works Exhibited

Kazimir Malevich, Mystic Suprematism, 1920–27 Oil on canvas, 39 ⅜ × 23 ⅝ inches (100.5 × 60 cm)

Kazimir Malevich, Mystic Suprematism, 1920–27

Oil on canvas, 39 ⅜ × 23 ⅝ inches (100.5 × 60 cm)

Kazimir Malevich, Painterly Realism of a Football Player—Color Masses in the 4th Dimension, 1915 Oil on canvas, 27 ½ × 17 ⅜ inches (70 × 44 cm)The Art Institute of Chicago, through prior gift of Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection; Art Institute of Chicago Acquisition Funds, 2011.1

Kazimir Malevich, Painterly Realism of a Football Player—Color Masses in the 4th Dimension, 1915

Oil on canvas, 27 ½ × 17 ⅜ inches (70 × 44 cm)
The Art Institute of Chicago, through prior gift of Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection; Art Institute of Chicago Acquisition Funds, 2011.1

Kazimir Malevich, Suprematism, 18th Construction, 1915 Oil on canvas, 20 ⅞ × 20 ⅞ inches (53 × 53 cm)

Kazimir Malevich, Suprematism, 18th Construction, 1915

Oil on canvas, 20 ⅞ × 20 ⅞ inches (53 × 53 cm)

Kazimir Malevich, Suprematist Composition: Airplane Flying, 1915 Oil on canvas, 22 ⅞ × 19 inches (58.1 × 48.3 cm)The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Kazimir Malevich, Suprematist Composition: Airplane Flying, 1915

Oil on canvas, 22 ⅞ × 19 inches (58.1 × 48.3 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Kazimir Malevich, Suprematist Painting: Rectangle and Circle, 1915 Oil on canvas, 17 × 12 ⅛ inches (43.2 × 30.8 cm)

Kazimir Malevich, Suprematist Painting: Rectangle and Circle, 1915

Oil on canvas, 17 × 12 ⅛ inches (43.2 × 30.8 cm)

Kazimir Malevich, Desk and Room, 1913 Oil on canvas, 31 ¼ × 31 ¼ inches (79.5 × 79.5 cm)

Kazimir Malevich, Desk and Room, 1913

Oil on canvas, 31 ¼ × 31 ¼ inches (79.5 × 79.5 cm)

About

I have transformed myself into the zero of form and dragged myself out of the rubbish-filled pool of Academic Art. I have destroyed the ring of the horizon and escaped from the circle of things, from the horizon-ring which confines the artist and the forms of nature.
—Kazimir Malevich

It’s obvious now that the forms and colors in the paintings that Malevich began painting in 1915 are the first instances of form and color.
—Donald Judd

Gagosian is pleased to present the exhibition Malevich and the American Legacy at 980 Madison Avenue, New York.

The exhibition has been conceived in close collaboration with the heirs of Kazimir Malevich and features six rare and pivotal paintings, including Painterly Realism of a Football Player—Color Masses in the 4th Dimension (1915), which was recently acquired from the heirs of Malevich by the Art Institute of Chicago. These are brought together with works by modern and contemporary American artists including Carl Andre, John Baldessari, Alexander Calder, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, Barnett Newman, Ad Reinhardt, Ed Ruscha, Robert Ryman, Richard Serra, Frank Stella, James Turrell, and Cy Twombly. Major institutions—including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; and Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, New York—have loaned works to the show; other works have been borrowed from the personal collections of Twombly, Kelly, and Ruscha.

In the ferment of the early twentieth-century Russian art scene, Malevich, one of the pioneers of nonobjective art, developed Suprematism as an art of pure form. He envisioned his Suprematist paintings as geometry stripped of any attachment to the mimetic representation of real objects—the elemental alphabet of a pictorial language outside the visual world. Suprematism thus conveyed what Malevich believed was the supreme reality of existence: pure feeling. His works were first shown in the West in 1927, when he traveled to Germany with over seventy works of art, which were included in the Große Berliner Kunstausstellung (Great Berlin Art Exhibition). Subsequently, Alfred H. Barr, Jr., included several paintings in the groundbreaking exhibition Cubism and Abstract Art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1936. In 1939, the Museum of Non-Objective Painting opened in New York, whose founder, Solomon R. Guggenheim—an early and passionate collector of the Russian avant-garde—was inspired by the same aesthetic ideals and spiritual quest that exemplified Malevich’s art.

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