The many lives of Malevich are all in his paintings, now on show in a fascinating retrospective at Tate Modern, writes Adrian Searle
Visiting Malevich’s exhibition at the Tate modern is a journey through a significant part of the history of Europe . One that has greatly influenced many who followed.
From architects o artists, it is easy to see the importance and influences that Malevich’s work had in the year that followed him.
His super hero like costume designs for the futuristic opera “Victory over the sun” show best the spirit of futurism that preceded the first world war and which abrupt end is signified in Malevich’s work by a by a defiant full stop: his Black Square. A powerful icon which determined a new beginning for art that now feels fragile and endearing through the quality that the cracks on its surface provide.
Several pieces stayed in my mind: his Danvincian 1915 sketch titled “Reapin woman” , the 1923 Frank Lloyd Wright-esque suprematism architecton model “Alpha” , his Zaha-desque suprematism compositions, the concept of “cezannism” and his 1930 faceless “peasants” (contemporary and reminiscent of Grant Wood’s iconic “American Gothic”) to emntion a few.
However, the one thing that will stay with me is the unsettled feeling I experienced entering the last room of the exhibition where all his 1930s portraits seem to stare at you like ghost from the past that have come to an anachronistic gathering you are not sure you have been invited to.