Kazimir Malevich  (Russian/Ukrainian, 1879-1935) 

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Kazimir Malevich (Russian/Ukrainian, February 26, 1878–May 15, 1935) was an Abstract painter, a graphic artist, and the founder of the Suprematist movement. Much of his education and early career took place under the veil of the Russian revolutions, beginning in 1904 when he attended the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture. Malevich’s early studies introduced him to the Impressionist style, but he was also influenced by Symbolism and Art Nouveau. In 1907, Malevich took part in his first large exhibition with the Association of Moscow Artists, a group which included Wassily Kandinsky and Mikhail Fedorovich Larionov. Malevich was subsequently associated with numerous artistic groups of varied styles including Cubism, Futurism, and Fauvism; this melding of styles can be seen in the artist’s Cubo-Furturist village scene Morning in the Village after Snowstorm (1912).
These varied artistic influences contributed to the gradual simplification of Malevich’s personal style, and led to the fruition of Suprematism with flat, colored geometric shapes on empty backgrounds. Malevich’s Black Square (1915) has been acknowledged as the epitome of Suprematist fundamentals, which the artist then further established with his White Square on White (1918). Malevich spent much of his career teaching at the Vitebsk Popular Art School, Belarus, and the Institute of Artistic Culture in Petrograd. He also devoted his time to writing about the components of Suprematism, culminating with the 1927 publication of his The Non-Objective World: The Manifesto of Suprematism. The last retrospective of the artist’s work during his lifetime was held in 1929 at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. Malevich’s paintings and prints can now be seen around the world, with a large collection housed at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. The growing interest in his work can be seen at auction; a version of his Black Square sold for the equivalent of US$1 million in 2002, and his painting Suprematist Compostion sold for over US$60 million in 2008, a record price for a Russian work of art sold at auction. Malevich died on May 15, 1935, in Leningrad, Russia.

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Kazimir Malevich, Composition 9

 

Kazimir Malevich
Composition 9
circa 1917-1918

Annely Juda Fine Art
Kazimir Malevich, Suprematist Composition motif of 1915, later version

 

Kazimir Malevich
Suprematist Composition motif of 1915, later version
1915

Annely Juda Fine Art
Kazimir Malevich, Ceiling plan for the Red Theater, Leningrad

 

Kazimir Malevich
Ceiling plan for the Red Theater, Leningrad
1931

Edelman Arts
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Kazimir Malevich, Figure of a Man

 

Kazimir Malevich
Figure of a Man
pencil drawing

 

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Kazimir Malevich, Composition suprématiste

 

Kazimir Malevich
Composition suprématiste, 1930
lithograph

 

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Kazimir Malevich, Suprematist cross

 

Kazimir Malevich
Suprematist cross, 1917-1918
pencil on paper

 

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1878   Born February 26th near Kiev
1903   Studied at Moscow Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture
1912   Showed work at Donkey’s Tail Exhibition
1914   Showed at the Salon des Independants in Paris
1919   Taught at the Vitebsk Popular Art School
1919 - 1920   Held a solo show at the Sixteenth State Exhibition in Moscow
1922 - 1927   Taught at the Institute of Artistic Culture in Petograd
1927   Traveled with an exhibition of his paintings to Warsaw and Berlin where his work was shown at the Grosse Berliner Kunstaussellung
1929   Given a solo exhibition by the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow
1930   Arrested and many of his manuscripts were destroyed
1935   Died May 15th in Leningrad
2007   March 23 - June 10, "Das schwarze Quadrat - Hommage an Malewitsch", Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany
2003 - 2004   Oct. 3 - Jan. 11, "Kasimir Malevich: Suprematism", The Menil Collection
2003   January 17 - April 27, "Kasimir Malevich: Suprematism", Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin
2003   May - Sept. 7, "Kasimir Malevich: Suprematism", Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York