Kazimir Malevich

Kazimir Malevich, Taking in the Rye
Kazimir Malevich, Taking in the Rye

Malevich is a seminal figure in twentieth century art, though he has not always been so prolifically known as he is contemporaneously because he died in disfavor of the Soviets, who kept his works and theories quite under wraps for sometime.

Malevich was a fauve-cubist, futurist, and constructivist in the first half of 1900.  He lived a short life, but his contributions to painting and conceptualism are vast and great.  His work was a mixture of metaphysics and technology.  He was never long-penned to a particular movement, for his great mind could move fluidly through the many conceptualizations of his predecessors and contemporaries.

When the notion of impressionism came to Russia, Malevich was transfixed.  To paraphrase his journal, he noted that the object in impressionism was texture and painterly manner rather than the capturing of specific detailed reality through formal conventions such as linear and  atmospheric perspective, or deadpan observation.  He loved nature in spring and an apple orchard he worked in was his true studio.

Malevich wanted to find the core of emotion in his paintings, so he traversed many fields of style.  He was moved by the notion of an icon, but not for the person represented, merely by the structure of representation. He saw a new type of art where the various classes and social structures of Russia would be represented iconographically.  He painted low brow workers, park-goers, and the average Russian citizen in this style.  He remained forever interested in time and movement, and the dynamism of an object.

By Jacob Hicks