Imagine Russia during the early years of the 20th century. In the dark, gilded interiors of its onion-domed Orthodox churches, the air is heavy with incense. Clusters of candles give off faint light as devout babushkas venerate golden icons, repetitively crossing themselves and bending to the ground in an ecstasy of worship. In St. Petersburg, the tsar and tsarina live in a gilded, kitschy, Fabergé-egg world, and they're psychologically dependent on an erratic, mad monk they believe has the ability to stop the hemophilic hemorrhages of their adored son. Vast legions of the abjectly poor offer stark contrast to the Romanovs. In the cities, unrest ferments, and intellectuals, artists, idealists and Machiavellians plot an egalitarian, modern society with new ideas, new government, new religion and new art to change -- and... More >>>
Courtesy of the Menil Collection
Malevich's Black Cross is a neatly painted,
wonky abstraction of the Russian Orthodox cross.