Artist Spotlight: Kazimir Malevich / by Louis Holstein

I've recently downloaded the app "DailyArt," and have been pleasantly surprised at the inspiration that a daily art history lesson can make in my life. Several days ago the app highlighted the painting Hieratic Suprematist Cross (pictured below) and I was quickly transfixed on its simplistic colors, geometric shapes, and bold essence.

Hieratic Suprematist Cross- Kazimir Malevich (Public Domain)

Hieratic Suprematist Cross- Kazimir Malevich (Public Domain)

Suprematism is the name of the game, and Kazimir Malevich is the founder of this art movement. Malevich believed that this art movement would be the "supremacy of pure feeling or perception in the pictorial arts." (hence the name). He was all about feelings and how the art made one feel. We can really give Malevich credit to be being a direct influencer on what we now know as minimalism and conceptual art.*

Malevich's art moves me because he strips everything down to the core. All of a sudden shapes such as triangles, squares, and circles mean more than just pre-school education. His use of color and texture serve as the base for an entirely new story. I also found that Malevich was a devout Christian mystic who "believed the central task of an artist was that of rendering spiritual feeling."** 

Black Square- Kazimir Malevich (Public Domain)

Black Square- Kazimir Malevich (Public Domain)

What some refer to as the "first painting of a new movement"*** (that of Suprematism), Black Square (pictured above) has abstract weight to it, as I look at it. What is now crackled, I can imagine the revolutionary impact this painting must have had on its audience when it was first released, as it was the first painting (so history tells us) that has no subject. It just is. I love what theartstory.org tells us about it: 

"For the artist, the square represented feelings, and the white, nothingness. Additionally, Malevich saw the black square as a kind of godlike presence, an icon - or even the godlike quality in himself. In fact, Black Square was to become the new holy image for non-representational art. Even at the exhibition it was hung in the corner where an Orthodox icon would traditionally be placed in the Russian home."****

It is clear the intentionality that Malevich had with his work, although some would say "I can do that" (but such is modern art). His work is "simple yet significant,"***** and something I look up to as an artist. 

Sources:

*http://www.theartstory.org/artist-malevich-kasimir.htm                                                                    **Chave, Anna. Mark Rothko: Subjects in Abstraction. Yale University Press. p. 191.                         ***http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/articles/five-ways-look-Malevich-Black-Square         ****http://www.theartstory.org/artist-malevich-kasimir-artworks.htm#pnt_3                                      *****Don Draper