Adventures of the Black Square. Abstract Art and Society 1915–2015 traces back a century of Abstract art, bringing together over 100 works by 80 leading representatives of modern art, including Kazimir Malevich, Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Piet Mondrian, Gabriel Orozco and Aleksander Rodchenko. The exhibition takes a fresh look at this new art for a modern age, and asks how art relates to society and politics.
Andrei Cădere, descendent of a prominent family of interwar Romania, was born in Warsaw, Poland, where his father was the Romanian Ambassador. After the war, as Romania descended into Stalinist dictatorship, he led a life of constant harassment and social exclusion. Cădere emigrated to France in 1967 and, after some years in the wilderness, emerged as one of the most innovative and original conceptual artists. A memorable apparition, always carrying with him the sticks that made him famous, he died of cancer in Paris in 1978. Andrei Cădere was best known for his handmade series of painted round wooden bars, challenging the boundaries between painting and sculpture. His bars could be positioned in all sorts of relations to their surroundings (on walls, floors, propped between the two, etc.), but he would also carry them around a number of outdoor locations and into other people’s shows and openings, a practice that brought him the nickname 'the Man with the stick'.
'The Barre was an artwork that needed no gallery. Anyone could view it, and they could view it anywhere. Cadere carried it on the underground, to the shops, on the boulevards of Paris and the avenues of New York, through museums and parks and other people's exhibitions. He was like a pilgrim traveller with a staff. Hundreds of thousands of people may have seen his art inadvertently, many more than would ever have looked at it in a gallery, and indeed this was entirely the point.' - Laura Cumming, The Guardian
The project is supported by the Romanian Cultural Institute in London alongside the Embassy of Argentina in London, Balassi Institute, Hungarian Cultural Centre London, Czech Centre London, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen e.V., the Embassy of Israel to the UK, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Outset Israel, Polish Cultural Institute in London, The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, the Office for Cultural and Scientific Affairs of the Embassy of Spain in London, the Embassy of Sweden in London, Swiss Cultural Fund UK, and the Government of Mexico, among others.
Image caption: André Cadere outside the Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels, 1974: ‘He carried the Barre on the underground, to the shops, on the boulevards of Paris and the avenues of New York.’ Photograph: Studio Engels, Brussels Studio Engels, Brussels/Public Domain