Don’t be a square: visit abstract show at Whitechapel Gallery

Dora Maurer's Seven Rotations 1 to 6, 1979

Dora Maurer's Seven Rotations 1 to 6, 1979 - Credit: Archant

A century of the weird and wonderful will be explored in a major new exhibition on abstract art

Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915 – 2015 brings together more than 100 works by modern masters and current artists at the Whitechapel Gallery from January 15.

The exhibition traces the rise of constructivist art from its revolutionary beginnings among avant-garde artists in Russia and Europe and sheds new light on the evolution of geometric abstraction across the globe, from Asia to the United States and Latin America.

It takes Russian painter Kazimir Malevich’s radical paintings of a black square, first shown in Russia in 1915, as the symbol of a new art and a new society.

These, along with Malevich’s Black And White, a Suprematist Composition (1915), shown at the famous Last Futurist Exhibition in St Petersburg two years before the Russian Revolution, are iconic works that kicked off the abstract movement.

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It then traces the rise of abstract art with works from Buenos Aires, Tehran, London, Berlin, New York and Tel Aviv, which range from paintings, photographs, sculptures and performance.

Curator and exhibition director Iwona Blazwick OBE said: “This exhibition invites you to come on a journey to join the adventures of the black square as its influence resonated through the century around the world.

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“We’ll also discover new voices, new artists from the Middle East, Latin America, China and eastern Europe.”

She added: “This exhibition shows how geometric abstraction is crucially linked with politics and society.”

Among the 100 artists featured are Carl Andre, David Batchelor, Dora Maurer, Andrea Fraser and the works are divided into four categories, Communication, Architectonics, Utopia and The Everyday.

Adventures of the Black Square runs from January 15 to April 6, 2015.

For more call 020 7522 7888.

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