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Two Female Nudes Gathering Pears is a lesser known painting by Kazimir Malevich which dates from around 1909. It features two figures within a forest setting and is far removed from the signature style used by the artist later in life.
Very little information is available on this painting other than that it is sized at around 66 cm x 60 cm and resides within the collection of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands. They appear to have accessed a personal collection from years back in which a specific collector was able to acquire a large number of paintings and drawings from his career, though most are from his less famous early years. This selection has proven very helpful in allowing us to better understand the journey that he went through in order to finally arrive at the abstract style which dominated his later work. Many artists in the first half of the 20th century would follow a similar path to abstraction, and try out all manner of other techniques on the way. You will therefore notice Cubism and Fauvism plus a loose use of Impressionism elsewhere within this website, much of which comes directly from the collection of the Stedelijk Museum in the Netherlands. This particular painting is an example of his figurative work, and is highly expressive, showing off his potential for the years ahead.
The artist uses very sombre tones within this painting, with browns for the background and green colours for the two figures. One leans over, collecting fruit whilst the other stands tall and looks on. Both are unclothed which gives a raw nature to this painting but also allows the artist to show off the intricacies of the human body, with detail around the muscular balance of each figure and shading between their limbs. Lighting is relatively irrelevant in this painting, with everything delivered in an equal level of darkness. One can just about make out the individual fruits which hang around the scene and it is quite possible that the artist produced this work in a relatively short space of time. 1901 was a year in which he worked productively, but also particularly experimentally and would touch on quite a number of different styles within just this year alone. Despite its status as a less well known artwork within his career, Two Female Nudes Gathering Pears would still be worth a considerable sum because of its connection to this highly regarded and influential Russian artist.
Malevich was a key Russian painter and draughtsman who today is afforded the respect that he rightly deserves. He would help his nation to be at the forefront of new artistic developments in the early 20th century, even though the country itself was going through a significant period of political and economical turbulence. His abstract work would become some of the most famous contemporary paintings from the entire century and are now today worth extraordinary prices, with White on White, Black Circle and Four Squares being amongst the most famous of all. Most will recognise these artworks as those of Malevich almost immediately, even though they are so devoid of detail, such is the nature of his solid reputation today with those who have studied art in detail from the first half of the 20th century.