Updated date:

Black Square by Kazimir Malevich

Author:

Jeff Zod is an avid painter and he loves painting in his free time. He is inspired by Old Masters such as Da Vinci, Van Gogh, and Picasso.

Black Square(1915)

Black Square(1915)

Black Square(1915)

I have transformed myself in the zero of form and dragged myself out of the rubbish-filled pool of Academic art.

— Kazmir Malevich

Black Square is a painting by Russian born artist Kazimir Malevich. The painting has achieved iconic status. The first version of the painting is said to have been completed in 1915. Of the four variants painted by Malevich the last one is thought to have been painted either in the late 1920s or early in the 1930s. It was first exhibited in The Last Futurist Exhibition 0,10 in 1915

When Malevich first exhibited the Black Square, he hung the painting where the wall meets the ceiling -in Russia this referred to as the “beautiful corner,” usually reserved for religious icons. It is therefore evident that Malevich considered “Black Square” to be sacred: a symbol for a new, spiritual awakening.

Malevich's Black Square

black-square-by-kazimir-malevich

Kazimir Malevich was a Russian artist. He painted some of his most important works in the beginning of the 20 century. During his career that spanned over several decades, he experimented with different styles. However, his most important works were completed between 1915 and 1918 when he concentrated primarily on the exploration of geometric forms (squares, triangles and circles) and their relationships within pictorial space.

The year 1915 was a time of drastic change in Russia. The society was experiencing dramatic a upheaval as the industrial revolution brought shifts in economic and social foundations. The First World War brought a new challenge to the monarchy of Tsar Nicholas II that resulted in a political revolution.

Suprematism(1915)

Suprematism(1915)

Suprematism(1915)

The artists of that era were galvanized by a sense of change that was in the air. They were also gaining new awareness of the novel art movements in Paris. Malevich visited Paris in 1912.He was inspired by the Cubists, especially Pablo Picasso. He also drew inspiration from Italian artist Filippo Tommaso Marinetti who represented the Futurists.

Futurism’s placed emphasis on speed, technology and the violence of modern machines, this together with Marinetti’s rabble-rousing messages, encapsulated the sense of momentous change that was looming.

Western European avant-garde art was quickly incorporated into his painting style. His paintings adopted many of the visual techniques employed in Impressionism, Fauvism and Cubism, later followed by the influence of Italian Futurism.

Malevich later employed a more radical style of non-objective painting which he referred to as the “Suprematism”.

He was sought a purer form of Cubism through the assembly of geometric forms. The term Suprematism is derived from the notion of the superior feeling conferred by undiluted abstraction. As he stated, it was “… the experience of non-objectivity … the supremacy of pure feeling.”

Black Square was the most controversial of Malevich’s Suprematist artwork. It was exhibited to the public in an exhibition held in Saint Petersburg(formerly Petrograd) in 1915. The title of the exhibition was the Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings 0,10 . The “0” in the title refers to the idea of a new awakening in art — a point zero — while the “10” refers to the number of artists who exhibited their work.

Comments

Jeff Zod (author) from Nairobi on May 24, 2021:

Hi Pamela,

Thanks for stopping by. Kazmir Malevich is a very great artist. He threw out the rule book of painting.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 24, 2021:

This is a very interesting article, Jeff. Kazimir Malevich was an interesting man, and I liked your explanation of the historical changes in Russian.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on May 24, 2021:

Thanks for sharing an interesting read.

Related Articles