Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Malevich, Kasimir

Landscape Winter
oil on canvas
size unknown
Museum Ludwig, Koln, Germany

"No phenomenon is mortal," Malevich wrote in an unpublished manuscript, "and this means not only the body but the idea as well, a symbol that one is eternally reincarnated in another form which actually exists in the conscious and unconscious person."

Kazimir Severinovich Malevich (1879-1935) was a Russian painter, born near Kiev. He was a pioneer of geometric abstract art and the originator of the Avant-garde Suprematist movement, which brought abstract art to a geometric simplicity more radical than anything previously seen. The style of severe geometric abstraction with which he is most closely associated, Suprematism, was a leading force in the development of Constructivism, the repercussions of which continued to be felt throughout the 20th century. His work was suppressed in Soviet Russia in the 1930s and remained little known during the following two decades. The reassessment of his reputation in the West from the mid-1950s was matched by the renewed influence of his work on the paintings of Ad Reinhardt and on developments such as Zero, Hard-edge painting and Minimalism. He died of cancer in Leningrad in 1935. His influence on abstract art, in the west as well as Russia, was enormous.