• Everything we see could also be otherwise (My sweet little lamb)
    20 September – 11 November 2017

    The Showroom (63 Penfold St, Marylebone, London NW8 8PQ, UK) Curated by: What, How & for Whom/WHW, in collaboration with Kathrin Rhomberg, co-curated by Emily Pethick Preview: Tuesday 19 September, 6.30–8.30pm Exhibition opening hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 12–6pm The Showroom presents the epilogue of a long-term project which took place over several months in Zagreb (November 2016 to May 2017), which contextualised and rethought the Kontakt Art Collection. It was curated by What, How & for Whom/WHW in collaboration with Kathrin Rhomberg. This final exhibition is co-curated by The Showroom Director Emily Pethick. Taking selected works from the Vienna-based Kontakt Art Collection as its point of departure, including seminal pieces by some of the most prominent artists from Central, Eastern and South-East Europe since the 1960s, the exhibition stages an interplay between these and other historical, contemporary and newly produced works that interpret and critically examine the collection. The project unfolded in six episodes in Zagreb, each iteration influencing, contradicting and reinforcing each other. It took place in a number of smaller art spaces, artists' studios, private apartments and other locations related to artistic production and the broader cultural landscape of the city. This final stage of the project at The Showroom continues to reframe and expand the context of the collection. Interlacing geographically and poetically heterogeneous artist practices, the project attempts to punctuate standardized presentations and interpretations of works that have dominated international art circuits over the last few decades, with more disorderly and experimental arrangements. The project title is taken from a work by Croatian artist Mladen Stilinović (1947–2016), to whom the project is dedicated. Stilinović's life-long anti-systemic approach, his quiet but shrewd rebellion against social conventions and the conventions of art, and an artistic practice that trenchantly and humorously engages with complex themes of ideology, work, money, pain and poverty, inspired a generation of artists worldwide. The project is a cooperation with Kontakt Art Collection and is supported by Erste Group Bank AG and ERSTE Foundation.


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Kazimir Malevich

A Letter from Kazimir Malevich

My dear friends:

I was very much surprised to learn from the article "Diaorama" [A.i.A., March ´86] of the artist David Diao, who actually copied my work using the famous photo of "The Last Futurist Exhibition" held in Petrograd, Dec. 17, 1915 – Jan. 19, 1916. I was a little bit confused, but eventually I liked both the idea and the paintings. Hope one day to see them for real. It was not less surprising to learn from the same article that my work has recently been used by some other artists from your beautiful town of New York. I can´t stop asking myself: Why? Why now, after so many years?

I remember that cold and snowy winter in Petrograd 1915 as if it were yesterday. Everything was in motion. It was a time of great hopes, enthusiasm, optimism, futurism and, of course, Revolution. You could smell it even in the cold Russian air. The end of the great century … the new age … huge and cold building at Marsovo Polje (Champ de mars) no. 7… "The Last Futurist Exhibition 0,10" … no heating … Puni running around always asking for nails …  Kliun quite nervous, like a bridegroom before the wedding. I must admit I didn´t have any previous plan for my, as you now say, “installation.” It was purely accidental. I only knew that the "Black Square" must be in the top corner. Everything else was irrelevant. While I was hanging my small Suprematist paintings here and there, it didn´t occur to me that the photo of this installation would become so famous and be published in hundreds of books, reviews. And today it is even “quoted” in the paintings by one of my colleagues! I don´t remember now who actually took this picture, but it is just a photo, black and white. No colors! I have an impression that this photo is becoming even more important than my Suprematist paintings! This was the major reason I kept on thinking for years to do the same exhibition again.

Since, for obvious reasons, it was not possible to do it in Petrograd, I decided to make "The Last Futurist Exhibition" again exactly 70 years later (Dec. 17, 1985 – Jan. 19, 1986) in a small apartment in the beautiful town of Belgrade. One part of the exhibition was an exact replica of the Petrograd installation. But this time, no papers with titles on the walls, no numbers, no chair. Another part of this exhibition presented some of my recent, neo-Suprematist works:  Suprematist icons on ancient reliefs and sculptures. Suprematist icons in needlepoint. I think you can get a better impression from the picture.

I know that for most of you this letter will come as a great surprise, since it is generally believed that I died in 1935 I know … Suetin´s coffin … the great burial procession along the streets of Leningrad … the "Black Square" on the grave … Yes, there are many people thinking that I died. But, did I?

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