Kazimir Malevich 1878-1935


Beeren, W. A. L. – Joosten, J. M. – Veneman-Boersma, L. (eds.)


Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. 1989. Catalogue number 727. 280 pages. 4to (28,5 x 22,5 cm). Stiff, printed wrappers with deep folding flaps. 215 illustrations, many in colour. Text in English and Russian. Important catalogue of exhibition bringing together the two largest collections of Malevich’s works: the Russian State Museums and The Stedelijk in Amsterdam. In great condition!

Kazimir Severinovich Malevich 1879–1935) was a Russian avant-garde artist and art theorist, whose pioneering work and writing influenced the development of abstract art in the 20th century. He was born in Kiev, to an ethnic Polish family. His concept of Suprematism sought to develop a form of expression that moved as far as possible from the world of natural forms (objectivity) and subject matter in order to access ”the supremacy of pure feeling” and spirituality. Malevich is also sometimes considered to be part of the Ukrainian avant-garde (together with Alexander Archipenko, Sonia Delaunay, Aleksandra Ekster and David Burliuk) that was shaped by Ukrainian-born artists who worked first in Ukraine and later over a geographical span between Europe and America.

Early on, Malevich worked in a variety of styles, quickly assimilating the movements of Impressionism, Symbolism and Fauvism and, after visiting Paris in 1912, Cubism. Gradually simplifying his style, he developed an approach with key works consisting of pure geometric forms and their relationships to one another, set against minimal grounds. His Black Square (1915), a black square on white, represented the most radically abstract painting known to have been created so far and drew ”an uncrossable line (…) between old art and new art”; Suprematist Composition: White on White (1918), a barely differentiated off-white square superimposed on an off-white ground, would take his ideal of pure abstraction to its logical conclusion. In addition to his paintings, Malevich laid down his theories in writing, such as ”From Cubism and Futurism to Suprematism” (1915) and The Non-Objective World: The Manifesto of Suprematism (1926).


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