Kazimir Malevich

Kazimir Malevich biography


Kazimir Malevich born February 23, 1879 in Kiev. His parents were Polish origin. The family had fourteen children, but survived to adulthood, only nine of them. When Kazimir was 15 years old, his mother gave him a set of paints. From that moment until his death, passion Malevich began painting. However, the parents insisted that his son suffered a serious profession. Kazimierz entered the school in the village agronomic Parkhomovka there and graduated five classes.

In 1896 Malevich moved to Kursk. To have at least some means of livelihood, Casimir went to work in the Office of the Kursk-Moscow railway. The Course is an acquaintance of the future artist Lev Kvachevskim, novice painter. Malevich painting attracts more and more to develop this desire, Kazimierz sent to Moscow.

In 1905, Malevich tried unsuccessfully to enter the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Education of painting, he starts at the IF Rerberg. This man was not only a famous artist, but also a founder of the Moscow Association of Artists. It was he who helped Malevich to submit their work to the public. Rerberg organized participation in exhibitions of his ward. In the studio Malevich Rerberg acquainted with IV Klyunkovym, who was known under the pseudonym Kliun in society. This meeting was the beginning of not only a strong friendship, and fruitful cooperation. In the early works of the artist clearly noticeable influence of a new friend. This was highlighted in a series of “Sketches of fresco painting.” These paintings are intricately combine bright colors and features the art of icon painting. In the fabric made since rhythm and symmetry.

Kazimir Malevich's painting "Underwear on the fence" in 1903
Kazimir Malevich’s painting “Underwear on the fence” in 1903

Malevich works harmoniously combine the emotion and flatulence. Themes of works are not even different, but opposite. Decency of work ( “The Wedding”, “Holiday”, “The Tree of Life”) side by side with webs on the verge of decency ( “Pornographic society in the cylinders,” “Erotic motive”). At the same time all the paintings combines style: thoughtful, serious and ironic at the same time.

In 1905 and 1907 Malevich undertake new attempts to enter the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, who also will fail. In 1909, Malevich marries SM Rafalovich, children’s writer. With his wife, he settled in the village Nemchinkovka. This place will play a special role in the life of the artist throughout his life.

Malevich’s paintings differ unprecedented inner force and energy. Since 1911, the artist becomes a member of the “Union of Youth”, takes part in various exhibitions. At this time there are paintings “The man in the hat acute”, “Still Life”, “Portrait of a Woman.” His work is found, household, folk themes, always made with the help of bright colors. Malevich influenced by Fauvism, he sees a picture of a self-sufficient mechanism. Gradually, the artist moves away from the Impressionist, welcoming special impulsivity and flavor. In this connection special importance is the “peasant art,” which is associated with the paintings “Cleaning the Rye”, “Peasant Woman with buckets and child”, “carpenter”, “Reaper.” This topic came up repeatedly in the works of other artists, decided Malevich original. Images of peasants appear flat, as unreal. The artworks are distinguished by strong contrasts, shapes, layout complexity.

"Gardener" 1911 Gouache on paper. 91 x 70 cm. Stedelek Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
“Gardener” 1911 Gouache on paper. 91 x 70 cm. Stedelek Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

At the first exhibition of the Futurists called “The Tram”, Malevich presented some of his works: “An Englishman in Moscow,” “Lady in the tram,” “The Aviator,” “The lady at the post Poster”.

From the traditions of Fauvism Malevich gradually transferred to the Cubo-Futurism. The first works in this spirit was a portrait painter and composer M. Matyushina and IV Klyunkova. The works of this period have focused on the viewer’s perception web, emotions and associations related to the picture. One of the most important works of this period was the painting “Grinder”. Works by Malevich were designed to convince the viewer: in their emotions and fantasies we go far beyond reality.

Interestingly, in one of the exhibitions of the artist distributes his work in two groups: “kubofuturisticheskogo realism” and “abstruse realism”. Malevich also working on a production of the opera “Victory over the Sun”, in which the design has seen the beginnings of a future masterpiece “Black Square”.

In November 1916, when Malevich participated in the exhibition “Jack of Diamonds”, it became clear that in this period, the artist moved to Suprematism. In this artist’s work is characterized by three stages of this trend, which Malevich mentioned in the book “Suprematism.” In 1918, an artist working on a painting in which the color has no place.

Malevich in parallel working on an article for the newspaper “Anarchy”, participated in the creation of scenery for the production of “Mystery-Bouffe” by Mayakovsky’s play.

Kazimir Malevich in the history of his artistic career has gone through several stages, at different times, focusing on different aspects of art. The vision of the artist gradually changed, the result of these changes became paintings, most likely reflecting the essence of each period. However, despite this diversity of works of the artist’s most famous painting by Malevich was the painting “Black Square”.

The painting is a small canvas width and length of 79.5 centimeters. The background is made in white in the center shows a large square black. Despite the seeming simplicity of creating this painting, Malevich claimed to have worked on it for several months. The picture was painted in 1915, and at the same time the public has been demonstrated.

Kazimir Malevich Black Square 1915
            Kazimir Malevich Black Square 1915

The exhibition, entitled “Zero-Ten” was held in St. Petersburg in December 1915. Malevich introduced there a cycle of paintings “Suprematism of painting.” The name of the exhibition had a special meaning associated with a new concept developed by Malevich. The new idea was to tend to zero, and in the future – in going beyond its limits. In this respect, particular importance was the painting “Black Square”. The importance of this web emphasized its location at the exhibition: the work was there, where traditionally placed icons in their homes, in a place that is called the “red corner”.

For “Black Square” by Kazimir Malevich did not come immediately. Forerunners of this work appeared in the period of work on the opera “Victory Over the Sun”, which Malevich designed the scenery together with like-minded people. One of the sets was then conceived as a black square instead of the sun. Such a move had to express the idea of ​​an active human creativity triumph over nature.

Kazimir Malevich "Red Square" of 1915
               Kazimir Malevich “Red Square” of 1915

After the revolution, an important place in the life of Malevich engaged in social activities. The artist develops concepts of new museums. Since 1918, Malevich began his teaching work. He works at the Free public workshops. Teaching Work regulates the artist looks at the art, the result is a work “On the new systems in art”.

In 1919 Malevich moved to Vitebsk due to financial difficulties. He works in the Vitebsk folk art school. At this time, Malevich developed his own system of art education, in which the arts are considered on the basis of Suprematism. This system is named “Unovis” ( “affirmative new art”).

In 1927, the artist first travels abroad, visits to Poland and Germany. It was in Berlin Malevich receives a letter from the USSR with the requirement to return home. Once the artist returned, he was immediately arrested on charges of spying NKVD. Malevich paintings for a long time remain in Germany.

Freed, Malevich radically revising its artistic principles, realizing that Suprematism exhausted. In place of it comes supranaturalism created by the artist embodied in the works of “The Field”, “Women in the field.” This line is designed to combine abstract and fine art in the beginning.

Since 1929, in Malevich’s creativity comes postsuprematizma stage, the artist once again addresses the topic of the peasantry. During this period, his paintings appear dramatic echoes that were not previously. All figures shown in the pictures seem aloof and impersonal. In this period also the work “Female Torso”, “Torso” in which former importance regains white.

Since 1929, Malevich periodically goes to the Kiev Art Institute. There he teaches and works on theoretical articles. In 1928 it held a large-scale solo exhibition of Malevich.

Сhanges in the country immediately reflected in the works of Kasimir Malevich.  In his painting penetrated irreplaceable feeling of emptiness, of completeness. Works of the artist in a totalitarian society does not accept. Malevich works on portraits, including a self-portrait over (1933).

Kazimir Malevich died May 15, 1935 in Leningrad.


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