It’s Day 161 and I pulled my back today…or yesterday. Sheesh, I’m so sick of my chest and back pain. Probably due to anxiety and costochondritis…so ready for that bull to go away. 🙂 I’m always bummed when I can’t walk the dogs. Boo. I did have a good time painting my piece in honor of Kazimir Malevich today so let’s focus on that instead of muscle and joint pain!
Kazimir Severinovich Malevich (23 February 1879 – 15 May 1935) was a Russian painter and art theoretician. He was a pioneer of geometric abstract art and the originator of the avant-garde, Suprematist movement.
Kazimir Malevich was born Kazimierz Malewicz to a Polish family, who settled near Kiev in the
Kiev Governorate of the Russian Empire (former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, today Ukraine) during the partitions of Poland. His parents, Ludwika and Seweryn Malewicz, were Roman Catholic like most ethnic Poles. They both had fled from the former eastern territories of the Commonwealth (present-day Kopyl Region of Belarus) to Kiev in the aftermath of the failed Polish January Uprising of 1863against the tsarist army. His native languages were Russian and Polish.
Kazimir’s father managed a sugar factory. Kazimir was the first of fourteen children, only nine of whom survived into adulthood. His family moved often and he spent most of his childhood in the villages of Ukraine, amidst sugar-beet plantations, far from centers of culture. Until age twelve he knew nothing of professional artists, although art had surrounded him in childhood. He delighted in peasant embroidery, and in decorated walls and stoves. He was able to paint in the peasant style. He studied drawing in Kiev from 1895 to 1896.
From 1896 to 1904 Kazimir Malevich lived in Kursk. In 1904, after the death of his father, he moved to Moscow. He studied at theMoscow School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture from 1904 to 1910 and in the studio of Fedor Rerberg in Moscow (1904 to 1910). In 1911 he participated in the second exhibition of the group, Soyuz Molodyozhi (Union of Youth) in St. Petersburg, together withVladimir Tatlin and, in 1912, the group held its third exhibition, which included works by Aleksandra Ekster, Tatlin, and others. In the same year he participated in an exhibition by the collective, Donkey’s Tail in Moscow.
By that time his works were influenced by Natalia Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov, Russian
avant-garde painters, who were particularly interested in Russian folk art called lubok. Malevich’s described himself as painting in a “Cubo-Futuristic” style in 1912. In March 1913 a major exhibition of Aristarkh Lentulov’s paintings opened in Moscow. The effect of this exhibition was comparable with that of Paul Cézanne in Paris in 1907, as all the main Russian avant-garde artists of the time (including Malevich) immediately absorbed the cubist principles and began using them in their works. Already in the same year the Cubo-Futurist opera, Victory Over the Sun, with Malevich’s stage-set became a great success. In 1914 Malevich exhibited his works in the Salon des Indépendants in Paris together with Alexander Archipenko, Sonia Delaunay,Aleksandra Ekster, and Vadim Meller, among others. Malevich also co-illustrated, with Pavel Filonov, Selected Poems with Postscript, 1907–1914 by Velimir Khlebnikov and another work by Khlebnikov in 1914 titled Roar! Gauntlets, 1908–1914, with Vladimir Burliuk.
In 1915, Malevich laid down the foundations of Suprematism when he published his manifesto, From Cubism to Suprematism. In 1915–1916 he worked with other Suprematist artists in a peasant/artisan co-operative in Skoptsi and Verbovka village. In 1916–1917 he participated in exhibitions of the Jack of Diamonds group in Moscow together with Nathan Altman, David Burliuk, Aleksandra Ekster and others. Famous examples of his Suprematist works include, Black Square (1915) and White On White (1918).
Malevich exhibited his first Black Square, now at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, at the Last
Futurist Exhibition 0,10 in Petrograd in 1915. A black square placed against the sun appeared for the first time in the 1913 scenery designs for the Futurist opera Victory over the Sun. The second Black Square was painted around 1923. Some believe that the third Black Square (also at the Tretyakov Gallery) was painted in 1929 for Malevich’s solo exhibition, because of the poor condition of the 1915 square. One more Black Square, the smallest and probably the last, may have been intended as a diptych together with the Red Square (though of smaller size) for the exhibition Artists of the RSFSR: 15 Years, held in Leningrad (1932). The two squares, Black and Red, were the centerpiece of the show. This last square, despite the author’s note 1913 on the reverse, is believed to have been created in the late twenties or early thirties, for there are no earlier mentions of it.
In 1918, Malevich decorated a play, Mystery Bouffe, by Vladimir Mayakovskiy produced by Vsevolod Meyerhold.
He also was interested in aerial photography and aviation, which led him to abstractions inspired by or derived from aerial landscapes. As Professor Julia Bekman Chadaga (now of Macalaster College ) writes:
In his later writings, Malevich defined the “additional element” as the quality of any new visual environment bringing about a change in perception… In a series of diagrams illustrating the “environments” that influence various painterly styles, the Suprematist is associated with a series of aerial views rendering the familiar landscape into an abstraction… (excerpted from Ms. Bekman Chadaga’s paper delivered at Columbia University’s 2000 symposium, “Art, Technology, and Modernity in Russia and Eastern Europe”).
Some Ukrainian authors claim that Malevich’s Suprematism is rooted in the traditional Ukrainian culture.
Malevich died of cancer in Leningrad on 15 May 1935. On his deathbed he was exhibited with the black square above him, and mourners at his funeral rally were permitted to wave a banner bearing a black square. Malevich had asked to be buried under an oak tree on the outskirts of Nemchinovka, a place to which he felt a special bond. His ashes were sent to Nemchinovka, and buried in a field near his dacha. Nikolai Suetin, a friend of Malevich’s and a fellow artist, designed a white cube with a black square to mark the burial site. The memorial was destroyed during World War II. The city of Leningrad bestowed a pension on Malevich’s mother and daughter.
In 2013, an apartment block was built on the place of tomb and burial site of Kazimir Malevich. Another nearby monument to Malevich, put up in 1988, is now also on the grounds of a gated community.
Partial biography is from wikipedia.
I really had a good time designing today’s painting and choosing the colors. I think I did a good job capturing the artist’s spirit and I learned about the Suprematist movement! Loved this experience. I hope you enjoy it and I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 162…getting closer to the halfway mark of this huge endeavor! Best, Linda