Black Circle

Lazar Khidekel1920

Lazar Khidekel Society

Lazar Khidekel Society

Khidekel lived long enough to see the postwar expansion of Suprematism on an international level. Although he was isolated by the Iron Curtain, the logic of further avant-garde development can be detected ahead of its time in Khidekel’s oeuvre. Even his early works were Minimal avant le lettre. In 1995 review of “Russian Jewish Artists in the Century of Change, 1890-1990,” an exhibition at the Jewish Museum, New York, the critic Hilton Kramer singled out Khidekel’s work: “One of the most interesting artists is an artist few of us nowadays have heard of: Lazar Khidekel, who was associated with Malevich’s Suprematist circle in the 1920’s and later turned to architecture. A “Suprematist Concentric Circles” (1921) looks amazingly like a sketch for very similar paintings that Kenneth Noland produced many years later.”

Kramer was not aware that Khidekel’s remarkable concentric circles of 1921 represent thermal zones dispersing from the Earth’s core, as we now know from the artist’s own drawings and commentaries. The highly refined, diversely textured pastel palette of “Concentric Circles” relates both to Khidekel’s monochrome nebulae and cosmic structures, while anticipating, as Kramer rightly observed, the Minimalist and Color Field painting that emerged decades later, particularly in the hands of Noland.

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  • Title: Black Circle
  • Creator: Lazar Khidekel (1904-1986, painter and architect)
  • Date Created: 1920
  • Date Published: 1994, 2004/2014
  • Location: Khidekel Family Collection, New York
  • Location Created: Vitebsk
  • Physical Dimensions: 6.8 x 6.8 in (17.2 x 17.2 cm)
  • Publisher: L.Hutton Galleries, NYC 1994, J. Magnes Museum, Berkely 2004, Prestel Publishing 2014
  • External Link: http://www.russianamericanculture.com/lazar-khidekel-society/
  • Medium: Crayon on paper


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