Kazimir Malevich

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Kazimir Malevich was the founder of the artistic and philosophical school of Suprematism – a movement through which Malevich tried to liberate art from the normal hues of practicality and representation. For Malevich, art deserved to be at a higher pedigree and into another domain of its own. It was another form of geometric abstract art, which the Russian Painter was an expert of. In many ways Malevich had a deep impact on the evolution of modern art. All of Malevich’s famous paintings concentrate on exploring the geometric forms and how they are related to one another within the same confined space. His ideas even travelled across the Atlantic to America and Europe where he is considered a pioneer of the modern art movement. Malevich was also very anti-Impressionism, Cezanneism and Cubism – he considered all these as nothing but mere dialectic methods which don’t determine the real value of art. Malevich considered all art movements as non-existent.

Kazimierz Malewicz was born in 1878 in Kiev Russia to Polish immigrants. Much of Malevich’s childhood revolved around moving from one city to another before his father settled down in a small village in Ukraine. It was only until the age of 12 that Malevich discovered art and started drawing on walls, and decorating stoves and pieces of paper. Malevich studied art professionally in Moscow, where he was introduced to the world of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists. With Suprematism, Malevich established a true Russian avant-garde post World War I style of philosophical art. For Malevich Suprematism elevated art to another level where the truth of shape and color would be the centrepiece of any painting. Malevich’s most iconic masterpiece is the Black Square; it is so fragile in its form now that the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow refuses to lend it to anyone. The painting is quite small and is filled with a large black square over a tired white ground. Very simple and plain by description but it holds immense meaning – it acts like a sudden silence. Upon looking closely one can see that the black square is filled with craquelure and its simplicity acts like a silent protest. Beneath the black color are thick brush strokes and finger prints which make the color stand out. Even in its dilapidated and battered state the Black Square remains an icon for modern age. Malevich even dabbled in writing and they contained the same elements of philosophy spirituality and speculation.

For Malevich art was best served with multi-layered powerful symbols and mystical feelings of time and space. Another unique masterpiece of Malevich is his Morning in the Village After the Snowstorm. Oil on canvas, the painting is embedded in different layers of white, red, blue and yellow. The different shapes and sizes overlap with one another and are perfect symmetry. To the viewer they can easily make out the figures trying to make their way in the snow, all huddled in warm attire.  In simple words the painting is a mastery of shapes and colors and his Suprematism. Morning in the Village after the Snowstorm demonstrates Malevich’s skills as a sophisticated painter. Despite coming from humble beginnings, Malevich’s vivid imagination and creativity make up for his lack of a formal art education. Through his art and writings, Kazimir Malevich was able to pave the way for future generations of abstract artists.

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