Aleksandr Rodchenko. Non-Objective Painting no. 80 (Black on Black). 1918

Aleksandr Rodchenko Non-Objective Painting no. 80 (Black on Black) 1918

Floor 5, Collection Galleries

This work belongs to a series of eight black paintings Rodchenko made in direct response to a group of white paintings of the same year by the older and more established artist Kazimir Malevich. Malevich relied on a severely reduced palette of whites to suggest a floating form in an infinite spatial expanse; Rodchenko moved toward eliminating color completely in order to focus instead on the material quality of the paintings surface. "Where the black works are winning is in the fact that they have no color, they are strong through painting . . . ," declared artist Varvara Stepanova, Rodchenko's wife. "Nothing besides painting exists." Both series were first shown in Moscow in April 1919, in the 10th State Exhibition: Non-Objective Art and Suprematism. The black works were received with enthusiasm and helped establish Rodchenko as a leader of the Russian avant-garde.

Gallery label from 2015
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
32 1/4 x 31 1/4" (81.9 x 79.4 cm)
Credit
Gift of the artist, through Jay Leyda
Object number
114.1936
Department
Painting and Sculpture