Russia, in the period between the two world wars, was a complicated place for artists. The ideals of the socialist revolution and the popular notion of a tangible utopia gave rise to a slew of radical and transformative ideas running the gamut from Suprematism and Constructivism until reaching a bitter end in 1934 when the doctrine of Socialist Realism became official. Stalin brought the end to any freedom for artists. Kazimir Malevich (1878-1935), came of age artistically during the early part of this period, breaking out from a lifelong habit of emulating other artists by creating Suprematism in 1915. He called for an art based on only on feeling, that cast aside politics and 'free(d) art from the dead weight of the real world ' employing only colors and simple geometric shapes.
If Suprematism is describable in a sentence its influence is not. It has had a profound effect on the art of the last eighty years and yet its full potential was cut off by exactly the same kind of politics that it strove to move beyond. The architecture of Suprematism was never built- a statement that is true and literal as well as a metaphor for the wealth of creative energy lost to Stalin's political oppression. In the 1920s while living and working as part of numerous collective 's Malevich built some architectural models for which the blueprints were never made. According to a 1927 edition of Working Art, a New Caladonian journal published by active Trotskyists, he was harassed while returning to Russia from Warsaw, telling the police that his drawings of geometric forms were actually blueprints in order to get the work through customs.
In this show Jason Loebs reimagines the paintings of Kazimir Malevich as though they truly were blueprints, building the forms that history was denied the chance to see. Inhabiting the space of the gallery and crowding the entrances and exits to usable space, they both deny an easy entrance and make it difficult to leave. Asking a programmer to provide him the code that would generate a three dimensional version of Malevich's most famous work, Black Square, he had it written across the wall of the gallery- a blueprint for the modern age.