Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915 – 2015

Whitechapel Gallery |15 January – 6 April 2015

Admission: standard entry £9.95

December 1915 was a key moment in the history of Abstract art. The Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings: 0.10 opened in St. Petersburg with a display of paintings by Kazimir Malevich featuring blocks of colour floating against white backgrounds. Powerfully reductive, these were the very first examples of geometrical abstraction. One hundred years later, Black and White. Suprematist Composition from 0.10 in 1915, is the opening piece of this exhibition at Whitechapel.

Abstraction had been gathering pace in Europe since 1911, thanks to a group of painters who believed a new style of art was needed to encompass the fundamental changes taking place in technology, science and philosophy. Rejecting methods which focused solely on reproducing visual objects, they instead used colour, shape and texture to create new images.

Here the gallery brings together paintings, sculptures, film and photographs which trace the development of abstraction over the last century. As well as exploring its intimate connection with society. – Art Fund

Gabriel Orozco, Light Signs #1 (Korea)

Gabriel Orozco, Light Signs #1 (Korea), 1995

Whitechapel Gallery

77-82 Whitechapel High Street


E1 7QX

Tel: 020 7522 7888

Mondrian and Colour

Turner Contemporary |24th May – 21st September 2014

Standard Ticket: Free

From figuration to abstraction, the exhibition explores the evolution of the artist’s work through his use of colour.

Piet Mondrian is renown for his iconic series of geometric abstracts, yet look back to the early 1900s and the young artist was producing dreamy depictions of rural landscapes, populated with farmhouses and windmills. What unites these two distinct phases of Mondrian’s career is his innovative use of colour.

Straying from impressionist ideals that were popular in the preceding decades, Mondrian refused to see painting as simply a means of capturing external reality. Instead he wanted his works to be expressions of spirituality, prompting him to radically rethink his approach to colour. From 1921 he painted solely using the primary palette, a decision which would lead his work into abstraction.

Not only do his landscape works reveal the manifestations of Mondrian’s abstract thinking, but they also place his grid paintings in their proper context. Far from simple mathematical exercises in form, they were the development of Mondrian’s search for a new universal harmony.

Composition with Large Red Plane, Yellow, Black, Grey, Blue, 1921

Composition with Large Red Plane, Yellow, Black, Grey, Blue, 1921

A second exhibition at Tate Liverpool, Mondrian and his Studios, will chart the later years of the artist’s career, particularly his time in Paris and New York. Together the two displays form A Season of Mondrian, which spans the full breadth of his career.

Turner Contemporary, Lifeboat Station, The Rendezvous, Margate, Kent, CT9 1HG
Tel: 01843 233 000

Entry details

Free entry to all
Free exhibitions to all

Tue – Sun and Bank Holidays, 10am – 6pm
Closed 25th – 26th Dec