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8. Exhibiting Malevich under Stalin

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines selected exhibitions of Kazimir Malevich's works at the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow and the State Russian Museum in St Petersburg, where new display policies were adapted and implemented, which had a major impact on changing the perception of avant-garde art in Soviet society. Malevich clearly attempted to present a comprehensive picture of the evolution of his work from Impressionism to Suprematism, but his focus on the figurative works may demonstrate his engagement with current artistic developments and contemporary debates about the nature of Soviet art. Aleksei Fedorov-Davydov's short introduction in the exhibition catalogue describes the formal evolution of the artist's work, relying entirely on the chronology that Malevich himself provided and, as a result, did not comment on the artist's selection of paintings or the issue of backdating. Fedorov-Davydov's text alternates between appreciation for Malevich's skill and criticism of Malevich's art as bourgeois.

Keywords: Aleksei Fedorov-Davydov; Kazimir Malevich; Moscow; Soviet art; St Petersburg; Suprematism; Tretiakov Gallery



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