new-york

Kasimir Malevich, Painterly Realism of a Football Player— Color Masses in the 4th Dimension, 1915, oil on canvas, 27 1/2 x 17 3/8".

“Malevich and the American Legacy”

Gagosian | 522 West 21st Street

Kasimir Malevich, Painterly Realism of a Football Player— Color Masses in the 4th Dimension, 1915, oil on canvas, 27 1/2 x 17 3/8".

This dazzling exhibition contrasted six Kasimir Malevich paintings with the work of twenty-five putative American legatees. Malevich carried the day, while the “legacy” side of things—distinguished efforts to be sure—struck me as a roster of usual suspects. Had we—you and I—been asked to come up with the names of the pertinent American artists working in the train of an imagined Malevich, doubtless there would have been many overlaps on the wish list. Donald Judd, Barnett Newman, Ad Reinhardt, Robert Ryman, Richard Serra, Frank Stella, Agnes Martin all seem right, though one could ask, Why not Jo Baer, Barbara Kruger, Tony Smith, or even Scott Burton? to pull names at random from the deep hat of ready alternatives.

The answer—perhaps—lies in our long ignorance of the Suprematist project (the intentions of which have been largely reconstructed these

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the May 2011 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.