Kazimir Malevich (Russian/Ukrainian, 1935)

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.


Born February 26th near Kiev
Studied at Moscow Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture
Showed work at Donkey’s Tail Exhibition
Showed at the Salon des Independants in Paris
Taught at the Vitebsk Popular Art School
Held a solo show at the Sixteenth State Exhibition in Moscow
Taught at the Institute of Artistic Culture in Petograd
Traveled with an exhibition of his paintings to Warsaw and Berlin where his work was shown at the Grosse Berliner Kunstaussellung
Given a solo exhibition by the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow
Arrested and many of his manuscripts were destroyed
Died May 15th in Leningrad


March 23 - June 10, "Das schwarze Quadrat - Hommage an Malewitsch", Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany
Oct. 3 - Jan. 11, "Kasimir Malevich: Suprematism", The Menil Collection
January 17 - April 27, "Kasimir Malevich: Suprematism", Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin
May - Sept. 7, "Kasimir Malevich: Suprematism", Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York