Matisse and Malevich at the Tate Modern
Visiting the Matisse Cut-Out Exhibition at the Tate Modern on a Tuesday in August is not a quiet time to go... The show was packed so it was difficult to soak in the atmosphere of the work. However, there is a lot of it and generally it is large! I loved seeing his Blue nudes where Matisse called them 'cutting directly into colour.
I preferred Malevich's retrospective which I found absolutely fascinating. Malevich had an amazing journey with his work, beginning by copying work by the French impressionists as he had access to Schukin's collection under the Tsarist state, to painting the Black Square (1915), a starting point for a wholly new approach to art that he called Suprematism and then ending with Stalinist Realism in the 1930s... In between all this Malevich explores Cubist art, 'cubist futurism', and then with the collapse of the old regime in 1917, he declares that 'painting is dead', and in the 1920s explores Suprematist architecture.
With the dissolution of the old regime and the introduction of the new, the show reflects the historical context in which the work was made; suprematism was seen as the beginning of a new culture, world, non-objective and pure. Everything has disappeared
; a mass of material is left from which a new form will be built.
Many of Malevich's paintings in the late 20s are of peasants without faces, I find these particularly poignant.
Complex Presentiment, 1928-32. Oil on canvas.
99 x 79 cm.