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Item Name: Painting
Title: Kazimir Malevich Circle #3
Maker: Taras Polataiko
Year: 1995
Country: Canadian
Materials: acrylic on canvas
Measurements: overall: 213.5 cm x 127 cm
ID Number: PC99.12

Extended Label Info: Ukrainian artist Taras Polataiko uses a variety of methods such as painting, photography, video, performance, and political intervention to explore the experience of displacement and cultural conflict. He is interested in both personal memory and national history, and the ideological forces that affect what is erased and what is celebrated. This painting is from a series entitled “Glare” in which Polataiko painted from photographs he made from a book with black-and-white reproductions of paintings by Kasimir Malevich. Malevich is a historically important Soviet painter who developed a non-objective art movement known as Suprematism. Malevich wanted to go beyond traditional painting and realistic or abstracted images, to explore the materials of painting as subject matter. He concentrated on colour and geometric form to convey the truth of the materials, and to be understood universally. This artistic goal is central to 20th century Modernist art and architecture. Polataiko, in contrast, was interested in looking at Suprematism as cultural history. By working from images that were reproduced from reproductions, and emphasizing the loss of image quality, Polataiko creates a metaphor for what may be lost as information is mediated through transmission. The glare on the paintings represents the blind spots in cultural, historical and personal narratives, and the loss of cultural information between generations. Polataiko’s work can be understood as part of Post-Modernism, a movement which questioned the ability of Modern art to be a universally understood language. Taras Polataiko (1966) was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine. He studied painting and drawing, earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Stroganov Museum of Fine and Industrial Arts in Moscow, Russia. In 1990, Polataiko moved to Saskatoon to study painting, performance, and critical theory, and earned his Master of Fine Arts (1993) at the University of Saskatchewan. Polataiko is currently based in Kiev, Ukraine. His artwork has been exhibited internationally and is held in numerous public and private collections. In 2002 Polataiko represented Ukraine at the 25th São Paulo Biennale, and in 2009, he participated in the International Incheon Biennale in South Korea, and Volta 5: Age of Anxiety in Basel, Switzerland.