One hundred years ago, Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematist Composition: White on White and Aleksandr Rodchenko’s Non-Objective Painting no. 80 (Black on Black) hung side by side in the Tenth State Exhibition in Moscow. Now part of MoMA’s collection, the two monochrome interventions and their dynamic relationship shape our understanding of nonobjective painting in post-revolutionary Russia.
Karl-Heinz Adler used an abstract geometric approach in both his design and his fine art practices. Given state control and the resistance to alternative aesthetic forms, it is remarkable that Adler’s abstract geometries found their way into the everyday life of East German citizens.
In 1939, the South African artist Ernest Mancoba turned toward abstraction for the first time. Although this artistic development has been associated with Mancoba’s relationship to the CoBrA movement, Joshua Cohen argues that his embrace of abstraction also can be read as a turn away from the burdens of representation imposed by patrons upon a black South African artist.