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Kazimir Malevich and the Russian avant-garde in Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

In October 2013 the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam presents an exhibition devoted to Kazimir Malevich (1878 –1935).

It is the largest survey in twenty years to explore the work of an artist who was arguably one of the most important founders of abstract art. The exhibition is a tribute to the Russian avant-garde, and includes more than 500 objects from the collection of the Stedelijk Museum, the Khardzhiev Collection (under the stewardship of the Stedelijk), the Costakis Collection (housed by the State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki), and diverse lenders.

Best known for his purely abstract work, Malevich was inspired by diverse art movements of his day. Through oil paintings, gouaches, drawings, and sculptures, the exhibition traces the rich variety of his oeuvre. It will be surprising to many to recognize those influences in the work of Malevich: the light touches of Impressionism, the spirituality of Symbolism, Fauvism and exotic colored geometric cubism and primitivism next to futuristic dynamism.

In the exhibition we follow Malevich's development to his 'own' Suprematism, as he established in paintings, spatial 'arkhitektons' and designs for opera and film. Attention is also paid to the figurative works from the period, which in the West initially were not valued, partly because they were totally unknown. The Khardzhiev and Costakis collections provide a context for this varied oeuvre by including many works by Malevich’s fellow artists of the Russian avant-garde.