[Directly following on from the previous post.] The next morning we went back to the Tate Modern to see the Malevich exhibition. His work was presented in a more-or-less linear chronology. The early paintings are obviously derivative, but somehow he manages to pull a wide range of disparate influences together and quite quickly develops the “Suprematist” style he is famous for. Later, under threat from the Stalinist regime, he goes back to a more figurative way of painting where his individuality almost disappears: one portrait painted in an almost 19th century way, another looking like Braque, the next like a Byzantine icon, and then there are the faceless peasant paintings…
We get a look at his educational materials. The Suprematist Teapot is there (hurrah!). But, overall, I came away somewhat disappointed. Despite so much source material being available, I got very little sense of the actual processes driving the work, and there were whole sections of the exhibition that it was impossible to view in any meaningful way because it had been placed so high on the wall.
Worthwhile, nonetheless. Maybe we just had a hangover from the blistering and vivid Matisse exhibition from the night before: it couldn’t have been more of a contrast.
We then went across to the Saatchi gallery for the Pangea show, a collection of works from Africa and South America. A very mixed bag. This was the best piece—completely taking over Gallery 1—and my favourite (as a big ant fan): Casa Tomada by Rafael Gómezbarros.
The ants are made from casts of human skulls, reflecting the overtly political nature of much of the work in the show (as one might expect given the geography).
Of course, no visit to the Saatchi is complete without a visit to Richard Wilson’s wonderful 20:50. Beautifully still and serene, and it just smells so good:
Finally, there was the bonus of an exhibition by Spanish artist Xavier Mascaró: