Artist Spotlight: Kazmir Malevich

Artist Spotlight: Kazmir Malevich

PopUp Painting’s ‘artist of the week’ is Kazmir Malevich.

Kazmir Malevich (1878 – 1935) was a Russian painter, founder of the Suprematist movement and a pioneer of geometric abstraction.

The artist studied at the ‘Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture’.

Malevich lived and worked through one of the most turbulent periods in the twentieth century history, witnessing WWI and the October Revolution in Russia.

Initially Malevich painted in a style that echoed the gentle abstraction of Cubism, which was influencing artists all across Europe at the time. Soon, however, the Malevich’s style changed to a more bold, geometric shapes of stark colour. These works concentrated on pure geometric forms and their relationships to each other within the pictorial space.

Malevich coined the term ‘Supremitism’ for this style of work because he believed that art should transcend subject matter and that shape and colour should reign ‘supreme’ over aesthetics and narrative.

Malevich’s most famous painting is ‘Black Square’, a simple black square on a white background. The painting was the first in the canon of art to abandon depicting reality. The artist himself commented:

‘In the year 1913, trying desperately to free art from the dead weight of the real world, I took refuge in the form of the square.’

‘Black Square’ is a very important work that influenced the direction of twentieth century art.

We will be featuring Malevich’s work all week on our Facebook and Twitter pages, but in the meantime here is a selection of our favourite works by the artist.


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