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Derek Worthington with his 'Looking for Malevich' collection at his home in Malaga.
Derek Worthington with his 'Looking for Malevich' collection at his home in Malaga. / GORDON SIMPSON

From Malaga to London with Kazimir Malevich

  • Derek Worthington is taking his collection based on the Russian artist to Chelsea

It is a coincidence that the Kazimir Malevich exhibition at Malaga's Museo Ruso should be showing at the same time as Malaga-based British artist Derek Worthington, is putting the finishing touches to a collection of three dimensional abstract collages, all of which feature a black square, similar to the most famous work of the Russian artist, before sending it to London for an exhibition.

Worthington has been invited to exhibit this collection at the Chelsea Art Club, of which he is a member. He says, "It's a pretty daunting venue as the membership has a lot of very well-known artists." Derek will be travelling to London with his work, which will be on show during the first three weeks of May.

While he explains that the London event is by invitation only, he says he hopes "to find a venue" that will exhibit his work in Malaga later this year. Some of the collection was on display at Rincón de la Victoria's Casa Fuerte in 2017, as part of a larger exhibition he held there. However, Worthington says it would be timely to have the opportunity to show the collages again, with the Malevich exhibition in Malaga.

The artist explains that some time ago while working "almost exclusively" on landscapes he "decided to take a break and begin working on an abstract collage." He explains that as his work started to develop he needed a theme and decided to use a black square in each new picture.

Inspiration

At around the same time as he started working on his collages, the artist says that he went to see the "Revolution" exhibition at the Royal Academy in London, which was showing Russian art from 1917 until the 1930 and included a section devoted to Malevich. "The collection represented Malevich's manifesto of 'Suprematism' of which he was the founder of the artistic and philosophical school of thinking. The culmination of this philosophy is his most famous painting, Black Square," he explains.

Worthington says of his own exhibition, "While not exactly subscribing to this, I thought the black squares in my work which increases in size through the series, would give me the title, 'Looking for Malevich.'"

The current collection consists of sixteen pictures, but Derek says it "may go on to be more." He goes on to say that as well as Malevich, there are "several hints of the work of other artists from the same period," including Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Piet Mondrian and Noam Gabo, which he says is "intentional" as it allowed him to move into three dimensions for his project.

Worthington says he has been to see the Malevich exhibition in Malaga twice since it opened and confesses that he may have to go back before it finishes on 3 February. "It has been very refreshing to visit the exhibition at the Museo Ruso and to appreciate the work in painting, architecture, theatre and costume design of this very talented and influential artist."