Born in Ukraine to Polish parents, Malevich’s artistic career blossomed at the tender age of 12, despite spending his teenage years working with his father in factories and construction sites. Despite the lack of encouragement from his family, Malevich attended the Kiev School in 1895, defying convention and bending our perception of reality with his successful creative career.
Here5 facts about the man who revolutionised art during the Russian Revolution.
1. Suprematism was his invention
Malevich was the pioneer of Suprematism, an idea that colour, shape and line was ‘superior’ to narrative or representation in art.
He began creating his purely geometrical abstract works in 1913, which was recognised as the first movement of its kind.
Kazimir Malevich, Self-Portrait in Two Dimensions (1915)
2. He refuted that art should be sensual or representative
Kazimir Malevich, Black Square (1915)
The artist explained that“the appropriate means of representation is always the one which gives fullest possible expression to feeling as such and which ignores the familiar appearance of objects.”
Malevich refers to the famous work ‘Black Square’, where the visual depiction of objects has been replaced with “the supremacy of pure artistic feeling.”
3. He was one of the Jack of Diamonds
The Jack of Diamonds were a group of artists founded in 1910 in Moscow, who were the leading exponents of the Russian avant-garde.
Exhibitions included works by Wassily Kandinksy, before a new, more Futurist andradical branch of the group was created in 1912 under the name The Donkey’s Tail.
Kazimir Malevich, Woman with Rake, 1930
4. He considered himself Polish
Kazimir Malevich, Woodcutter (1912)
Born in current-day Ukraine, Malevich’s parents were ethnic Poles resulting in his affiliation with the country.
This attachment was so strong that the artist would frequently sign his name on official documentation in its Polish spelling: Kazimierz Malewicz.
5. There is a Black Square on his grave
Kazimir Malevich died on the 15th May 1935, surrounded by friends, intellectuals, fellow artists and creatives.
To honour his legacy and influence on the art world, his entourage placed not only a Black Square on his grave, but additionally above the bed where he lay dying.