HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums (QM), attended the opening of the ‘Kazimir Malevich: Genius of the Russian Avant-garde’ exhibition, organised on Saturday in collaboration with the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg and held at the Fire Station Garage Gallery.
The opening ceremony also welcomed Director of the State Russian Museum Dr Vladimir Gusev, Dr Evgenia Petrova the Deputy Director of the State Russian Museum and curator of the exhibition, and Joseph Kiblitsky the publisher of the catalogue and co-curator, among other VIPs and dignitaries. The exhibition will be on show from 23 March – 31 May 2019.
The exhibition offers a poignant view into the works of an influential innovator of the last century whose movement Suprematism continues to inspire artists and architects worldwide. Although a seminal figure in art history, this comprehensive display featuring more than 100 pieces from the collection of the State Russian Museum is a first for the Arab world.
Sheikha Reem Al Thani, Director of Exhibitions at Qatar Museums, said:
First envisioned as part of the Qatar Russia 2018 Year of Culture, the Kazimir Malevich showcase is a complementary event to the ‘Russian Avant-garde: Pioneers and Direct Descendants’ exhibition held at the Fire Station last year. Visitors who were inspired by these remarkable works can now take a more nuanced look into an originator of the movement. We have worked very closely with colleagues from the State Russian Museum, whom we thank for the chance to bring masterpieces by Malevich to the region for the first time.’
The Russian State Museum holds the largest and most complete collection of Malevich’s works, and so the exhibition is able to track the evolution of his art – from the earliest period of a realistic and symbolist nature through to his later work created one year before his passing. Several of his most famous paintings, including ‘Red Square’ and costumes from his opera ‘Victory Over the Sun,’ are on view at the Fire Station.
Dr Evgenia Petrova, Deputy Director of the State Russian Museum, stated:
Working with Qatar Museums has allowed us to create an in-depth view into Malevich’s body of work, a fascinating representation of his break away from traditional artistic expression of that time to a completely new artform. One of Kazimir Malevich’s greatest hopes for his art and artistic endeavours was to organise exhibitions abroad and I am so pleased we are able to continue doing so, bringing his mastery to new audiences in the region.’
Malevich’s exploration of forms evolved against the background of radical changes in art and society both in Russia and the international scene. Exploring this trajectory, the exhibition brings together examples of work from his entire career, including early decorative sketches and poster designs, Cubist and Futurist paintings, ceramic works, and architectural sculptures.
Curated by Dr Evgenia Petrova, Deputy Director of the State Russian Museum and author of several books on Malevich, the exhibition brings a thoughtful perspective into how the world around him and the shifting political winds in the region, affected the work he was able to undertake until his death in 1935.
The exhibition was first envisioned as part of the Qatar Russia Year of Culture 2018 and will be an opportunity for local audiences to continue exploring the richness of Russian art. The Year, which was sponsored by Qatar Airways, was also planned in collaboration with leading institutions in Qatar and Russia, including the Embassy of Qatar in Moscow, the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Doha, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Qatar’s Ministry of Culture and Sport and the State Museum and Exhibition Centre (ROSIZO.RU).