Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
October 19, 2013 — February 20, 2014
Museumplein 10, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
+31 20 573 2911

The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam holds the largest collection of work by Russian avant-garde pioneer Kazimir Malevich (1878–1935) outside of Russia and this exhibition represents the largest survey in twenty years devoted to the artist. Organized by Stedelijk Museum curators Geurt Imanse and Bart Rutten, the Stedelijk’s presentation of more than 500 works places Malevich within the context of his contemporaries.

Not only an artist, he was an influential teacher and a passionate advocate of the “new” art. The show is a tribute to the Russian avant-garde of the early 20th century, with Malevich as its focal point. Although best known for his purely abstract work, he was inspired by diverse art movements of his day, including Impressionism, Symbolism, Fauvism, and Cubism; his own visual language was also influenced by Russian icon painting and folk art. Through oil paintings, gouaches, drawings, and sculptures, the exhibition traces the rich variety of his oeuvre. All the phases in Malevich’s career will be on view, from his Impressionist period to his iconic Suprematist phase—his Black Square was its most radical consequence—to the lesser-known figurative works that followed.

For the first time, the show unites the exceptional collections of Nikolai Khardzhiev (via the Khardzhiev Foundation under the stewardship of the Stedelijk) and Georges Costakis (housed by the State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki). Pioneering Russian collectors of the Russian avant-garde, Khardzhiev and Costakis assembled considerable holdings of works during a time when abstract art was forbidden in the Soviet Union.