Suprematism in the gym

Natalia Andrianova, Sport Geometrisms. 2007-2011

Lingua Franca is the title of the Central Asia pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Eleven artists from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstanetc. show work in “a study of contemporary artistic practices as a kind of lingua franca – a language of global communication.” This is a true statement about the Biennale which includes new art from around the world and attracts visitors from around the world, all engaging in the neutral space of art. The artists in this pavilion communicate very well their regional issues in this international language of contemporary art. It’s the surprise of Venice that the work that most engages you is often from the places you would never think of. Tajikistan?

Natalia Andrianova is from Kyrgistan and is showing a series of photographs of abstract patterns: vividly coloured closeups of the floor of a school gym. This low subject matter (it’s under the feet) is lifted to the heights of art by its similarity to Suprematism, the first movement in abstract art in the early 20th century. Suprematist paintings sought a lofty purity, leaving behind the base things of the world in a pursuit of pure feeling, through forms.

“A place of former battles and a museum under our feet”


Left image: Natalia Andrianova, Sport Geometrisms. 2007-2011

Right image: Kasimir Malevich., ‘Suprematism 1915’ 



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