Suprematist Composition (Blue Triangle and Black Rectangle) Kazimir Malevich Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Suprematist Composition (Blue Triangle and Black Rectangle) dates from 1915 and is one of many abstract paintings produced by Kazimir Malevich during this year. He was attempting to reduce form down to the lowest common denominator, hence the lack of detail.

This simple design features a blue triangle overlaid on top of a long black triangle. The two fill most of the painting, with just a small amount of space either side for the background which is entirely white. Malevich would have painted the background by hand first, meaning one can actually see individual brushstrokes across it if viewing the piece in person. When looking at digital photos, though, it would appear to be just a single flat tone of white. This painting is part of Malevich's Suprematist approach in which he claimed superiority over nature within his new style of art. He would inevitably come across rejection from many critics would were simply unprepared for this new approach, but he continued on regardless and received enough support to allow him to build his reputation. The first half of the 20th century was full of situations such as this, as all manner of new ideas were exhibited for the first time in both western and eastern Europe. This would encourage artists to form small collectives in order to strengthen their positions and also create exhibitions which demonstrated how several artists would be doing similar.

Malevich is considered one of the most influential Russian artists in history but sadly he would experience considerable resistance within his own nation. He would leave some of his abstract art abroad in later years in order to protect it from the ruling authorities in Russia which would eventually prove a good decision. Contemporary art has long since experienced treatment such as this, but today most western nations are far more accepting of different ideas and try to allow all of them to gain publicity and display space. Since those achievements, western art has spread further and wider, now being displayed in many other countries. In return, the likes of Eastern and Western Europe have also imported ideas from elsewhere and started to fuse different techniques together to create whole new methods which push things onwards once more.

The painting can be found in the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, but whilst they own a large number of paintings and drawings from his career, there are not many examples from his Suprematist style to be found here. Instead, most comes from a few years earlier when he was experimenting in other ways, meaning we can really appreciate the breadth of work within his career when visiting this exciting institution. Those in Amsterdam will be able to find art to suit their tastes, whether they prefer more traditional movements, or instead the more contemporary methods used by the likes of Malevich. For its size, Amsterdam punches above its weight in terms of culture, with a host of galleries and museums which can compete favourably with any other city in Europe, even those which are actually somewhat larger in size. Fans of Van Gogh and Rembrandt will find specialist museums, for example, and Dutch art more generally is also covered in other, smaller galleries elsewhere in the city.