Kazimir Malevich, Peasants, 1930 ©2016 State Russian Museum St Petersburg

Prospect recommends: The best art this month

The people's art, and retrospectives of Paolozzi and Sidney Nolan
January 16, 2017

Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932

Royal Academy of Art, 11th February to 17th April

When Lenin first took power, significant figures of the Russian avant-garde, such as Mayakovsky, Tatlin and Malevich, optimistically debated what a “people’s” art should be. Until 1932, when Stalin decreed that all art should express Soviet ideology, originality flourished. This ambitious exhibition surveys the gamut—from the innovative abstractions of Kandinsky to the graphic designs of Rodchenko, from the Constructivist architecture of Tatlin and Malevich’s Soviet ceramics, to Eisenstein’s films and the experimental Soviet Realism of Petrov-Vodkin and Deineka.

Eduardo Paolozzi

Whitechapel Gallery, 16th February to 14th May

This is the first major UK retrospective in 40 years of Eduardo Paolozzi’s unmistakeable oeuvre. Beloved by Londoners for his public art—including murals in Tottenham Court Road station and the bronze sculpture “Newton After Blake” at the British Library—until his death in 2005, he pursued his fascination with machines, maths, music and mythology. 

Transferences: Sidney Nolan in Britain

Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, 18th February to 14th June 

This exhibition launches a year’s centenary celebrations in Britain of the birth of Australian artist Sidney Nolan. Known for his iconic image of notorious Australian outlaw Ned Kelly—as a slotted black square on a horse—Nolan was a significant figure internationally, restlessly experimental and influenced as much by his many travels through Europe, Africa, China and Antarctica as by the landscapes and people of his native Australia. This show focuses on work created after his move to Britain in the early 1950s.