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 Malevich, Kasimir: Suprematist Compositions
Kasimir Malevich's art and his Suprematist manifesto are amongst the most vital artistic developments of this century. Most of his paintings are limited to geometric shapes and a narrow range of colors, but the pinnacle of his Suprematism was his White on White series. He claimed to have reached the summit of abstract art by denying objective representation.

 Russian suprematism
Although Chagall and Soutine both left Russia to seek inspiration in France, the early 20th century saw an amazing renewal in Russian art. Since the far-off days of the icon painters, there had been nothing in this great country but the monotony of academic art. Now, as if unconsciously anticipating the coming revolution of 1917, one great painter after another appeared. They were not universally welcomed in their homeland, and more than one artist sought a response elsewhere, but some of the most significant painters dedicated their lives and their art to their country.

They are difficult artists. Kasimir Malevich (1878-1935), who founded what he called Suprematism, believed in an extreme of reduction: "The object in itself is meaningless... the ideas of the conscious mind are worthless". What he wanted was a non-objective representation, "the supremacy of pure feeling." This can sound convincing until one asks what it actually means. Malevich, however, had no doubts as to what he meant, producing objects of iconic power such as his series of White on White paintings or Dynamic Suprematism (1916; 102 x 67 cm (40 x 26 1/2 in)), in which the geometric patterns are totally abstract.

Malevich had initially been influenced by Cubism and primitive art, which were both based on nature, but his own movement of Suprematism enabled him to construct images that had no reference at all to reality. Great solid diagonals of color in Dynamic Suprematism are floating free, their severe sides denying them any connection with the real world, where there are no straight lines. This is a pure abstract painting, the artist's main theme being the internal movements of the personality. The theme has no precise form, and Malevich had to search it out from within the visible expression of what he felt. They are wonderful works, and in their wake came other powerful Suprematist painters such as Natalia Goncharova and Liubov Popova.


741 x 886 40.1K
40.1K, 741 x 886

Aeroplane Flying
(Suprematist Painting)
Painted: 1915
Oil on canvas
57.3 x 48.3 cm
The Museum of Modern Art
New York

Suprematist Painting
Painted: 1916
Oil on canvas
88 x 70 cm
Stedelijk Museum
Amsterdam

745 x 934 70.1K
70.1K, 745 x 934

815 x 815 44.7K
44.7K, 815 x 815

Black Circle
Painted: 1913
Oil on canvas
105.5 x 105.5 cm
State Russian Museum
St. Petersburg

Black Square and Red Square
Painted: 1915
Oil on canvas
71.4 x 44.4 cm
The Museum of Modern Art
New York

653 x 1039 43.8K
43.8K, 653 x 1039

820 x 812 41.2K
41.2K, 820 x 812

Black Square
Painted: 1913
Oil on canvas
106.2 x 106.5 cm
State Russian Museum
St. Petersburg

Suprematist Composition
Painted: 1915
Oil on canvas
70 x 47 cm
Fine Arts Museum
Tula

595 x 912 71.0K
71.0K, 595 x 912

820 x 820 85.0K
85.0K, 820 x 820

Suprematism
Painted: 1916-17
Oil on canvas
80 x 80 cm
Fine Arts Museum
Krasnodar

Suprematist Painting
Painted: 1915-16
Oil on canvas
49 x 44 cm
Wilhelm Hacke Museum
Ludwigshafen

774 x 861 74.5K
74.5K, 774 x 861

671 x 1010 47.0K
47.0K, 671 x 1010

Suprematist Painting
Painted: 1917
Oil on canvas
96.5 x 65.4 cm
The Museum of Modern Art
New York

Red Square
( Painterly Realism of a Peasant Woman in Two Dimensions )
Painted: 1915
Oil on canvas
53 x 53 cm
State Russian Museum
St. Petersburg

817 x 818 37.7K
37.7K, 817 x 818

678 x 961 59.5K
59.5K, 678 x 961

Suprematism
Painted: 1915
Oil on canvas
87.5 x 72 cm
State Russian Museum
St. Petersburg

Self-Portrait in Two Dimensions
Painted: 1915
Oil on canvas
80 x 62 cm
Stedelijk Museum
Amsterdam

726 x 939 51.0K
51.0K, 726 x 939

770 x 870 66.2K
66.2K, 770 x 870

Supremus No. 56
Painted: 1916
Oil on canvas
80.5 x 71 cm
State Russian Museum
St. Petersburg

Suprematism (Supremus No. 58)
Painted: 1916
Oil on canvas
79.5 x 70.5 cm
State Russian Museum
St. Petersburg

770 x 877 70.2K
70.2K, 770 x 877