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The exact dating of the painting – Dynamic Suprematism is unclear, but is believed to have been painted around the year 1915; when it was exhibited in a small show titled ‘The Futurist Exhibition of Paintings 0.10'.
At this time it was purported that the painting was indeed made in that year; yet since then it has been contested and the general consensus is that it’s dated around 1915 or 1916.
The painting itself is fundamentally an abstract oil painting, on a white background filled with geometric shapes. Within the centre of the canvas a blue triangle has been painted, which is large in size and slightly tilted to an angle favouring to be left of the composition. The triangle resembles that of a harbouring and somewhat motherly form.
The triangle itself has been overlaid and assembled with geometric forms at each of the triangle’s three extremities. These forms are of depicting colours and are placed at capricious angles, and are more agile, heterogeneous beings which interact in hierarchically organised configurations. Of exacting prominence is a deep blue tiny triangle which resides at the top of the piece; with a yellow rectangle located right of the centre of the work, and a greater rectangle cream in colour sitting just below it.
Dynamic Suprematism is also referred to as Supremum 57, and comprises of an even application of paint, and it appears upon examination to have been painted directly to the canvas without the need for preparatory drawings and subsequent layering. The term Suprematism is derived from Supremus, in other words supreme. Malevich said Suprematism represented colour of form and the pure experience of painting. It was not about imitations of visible reality, Malevich was interested in the pure feeling for painting.
The painting does not follow any physical law – it has no up or down and can be appreciated at varying angles.
Post the Russian Revolution and the aftermath, unsurprisingly it had a massive influence on Malevich. The creative energies that are synonymous with his works became somewhat muffled and stilted, and this consequently culminated in him abandoning painting altogether. That was however, until 1929 when he re-emerge and began painting once more, however it is said that his once brilliance and objectivity was never rekindled and subsequent works were of a more traditional theme depicting rural life in Russia, choosing instead to abandon Suprematism and all his former beliefs. Moreover, his new artwork was a figurative blend with an element of abstraction, yet clearly there was an undercurrent of despair which permeated these works.
15th May 1935 Malevich passed away in Leningrad – his cause of death being that of cancer. His deathbed exhibited the renowned black square above him. And his ashes were conveyed to Nemchinovka, whereupon they were buried in a field close to his dacha (Russian country house or cottage). Placed upon his tomb was a white cube that was decorated with a black square to commemorate this great avant-garde artist.
Revolutionary, innovator, rebel, pioneer. No label really does justice to the Russian artist Kazimir Malevich – the most radical founder of modern art and one of the most important in the 20th centrury.
In 1878 Kazimir Malevich was born to polish parents near to Kiev – that is now Ukraine, and resided and later worked in Moscow, Vitebsk and St Petersburg. He studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1904-10). He was considered to be a revolutionary artist and was heavily prominent as a twentieth century pioneer of unconventional art.
What was Malevich’s influences? Well as a child he was fascinated by the folk motifs used by villagers to decorate their surroundings. After the uprising of Stalin and the new Soviet Union abstract painting was slowly forbidden. Art had to serve the communist ideal.
The young Malevich experimented with modern trends like Impressionism, Symbolism, Fauvism and Cubism. As he developed, Malevich increasingly followed his own artistic path. It was a pioneering and lonely fight that finally led to a true revolution in art.
In the early part of 1910s he steered away from the traditional imagery that was associated with the time, and instead favoured what he termed was Suprematism. Essentially an abstract painting of geometrical shapes which refuses to reflect the real world and its surroundings.
Malevich was very interested in Eastern philosophy and used it as a base in which to work. He felt he was much like God because he too could create things that had never existed before; he said ‘what I create is not subject or sub-ordinate to any of the laws of nature’. In fact you can take such paintings as Dynamic Suprematism and turn it in any direction and no matter which direction you turn it in it makes no difference to your appreciation and understanding of his work.