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“In Search of 0,10 – The Last Futurist Exhibition of Painting” on view at Fondation Beyeler
“0,10 – The Last Futurist Exhibition of Painting”, Petrograd, winter 1915/16. View of the room with Malevich’s Black Square and other suprematist paintings. Russian State Archive for Literature and Art, Moscow.

BASEL.- With “In Search of 0,10 – The last Futurist Exhibition of Painting”, the Fondation Beyeler is celebrating one of the most remarkable moments in the development of modern and contemporary art. The “0,10” exhibition was held in 1915 in Petrograd (the new name given to the German-sounding Russian capital of Saint Petersburg shortly after the outbreak of the First World War) and proved to be one of the 20th century’s key shows. Since Saint Petersburg became the cradle of the Russian avantgarde, “0,10” continues the Fondation Beyeler’s series of exhibitions about cities that were crucial to the development of modern art, its earlier shows having been “Venice”, “Vienna 1900” and “Surrealism in Paris”.

“0,10” marks a turning-point in the history of modern art, describing the historic moment when Kazimir Malevich created his first non-objective paintings and Vladimir Tatlin presented his revolutionary counter-reliefs to the public. Most of the other artists who participated in the original exhibition are also represented in the reconstructed version at the Fondation Beyeler: Natan Altman, Vassily Kamenski, Ivan Kljun, Michail Menkov, Vera Pestel, Ljubov Popova, Ivan Puni, Olga Rosanova, Nadeschda Udalzova and Marie Vassilieff.

At the same time, “In Search of 0,10 – The last Futurist Exhibition of Painting” honors Kazimir Malevich’s iconic work Black Square and commemorates its centenary. The monochrome painting was pure provocation, showing nothing but a slightly distorted square of black paint rimmed with white. In addition, it was hung inside the exhibition in the so-called “God’s Corner”, where icons normally adorned the apartment. Uncompromising and enigmatic, the works of Suprematism caused an instantaneous paradigm shift in the world of art.

The works are very rarely loaned: this is the first time that such a rich selection of Suprematist works is being exhibited in Switzerland. Years of research and a long-standing art historical exchange with renowned Russian museums have paved the way for this cooperation during the centenary year of Black Square . Since 2008, high-level cooperative projects have included the first one-man shows of Alberto Giacometti and Paul Klee (2013) in Russia, the latter in collaboration with the Zentrum Paul Klee.

The exhibited works and documents were assembled from museums, archives and private collections. In addition to the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and the Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg, fourteen regional museums in Russia as well as leading international institutions like the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the George Costakis Collection in Thessaloniki, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the MoMA in New York contributed to the exhibition by means of rare and valuable loans.

For the first time in Russian and Western exhibition practice, the valuable loans have been brought together in the exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler, where, together with other works by the same artists from the same era, they recreate the unique, energy-charged atmosphere of the artistic upturn in early 20th-century Russia.

The guest curator is Matthew Drutt, who has already curated the major Malevich retrospectives at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, and the Menil Collection, Houston.

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