Tuesday ART ATTACK- Kazimir Malevich "The Knifegrinder"

By Christian Franzen

Kazimir Malevich was a very influential Russian Painter who's artistic contributions helped usher the art world into the period of full abstraction. Born in Kiev, Russia in 1878; he later left Kiev to study painting at the Moscow School of Paining in 1904. While in school he became friends with a bunch of other young avant-garde artists that banded together to form Russia's second big artistic movement, Suprematism. 

This new movement of Suprematism  was a tremendous breakthrough not only for the young Russian painters but for the global artistic community. These young painter were the first to break into pure abstraction. Yes, previous to their first exhibit in 1915 there where others who dipped into abstraction by altering visible subject matter. However, the Suprematists ventured into the unknown by creating paintings totally void of any subject matter. The though process behind this ideal was that the recreation of already existing beautiful objects in representational art will there by make that art beautiful, and in doing so it lacks originality as well as forethought. 

Malevich was one of the biggest figures of this young group of artists. He published the Suprematist Manifesto in 1915 accompanied by the groups first big exhibition. The young Malevich looked at the past avant-garde breakthrough of Russian art and used them as a stepping stool for his own expression. His paintings began to break down and become more simple yet considered through out Malevich's life resulting in his perhaps most famous work , Black Square. The more simple and pure Malevich's work became the more it became to be filled with a deep mystic atmosphere. 

The Supremacist movement came to an end in 1919 with the end of the WWI. Following the end of the Supremacism Malevich became a prominent teacher throughout Russia. He had a prosperous teaching career spanning from 1920 up until 1929. 
Tragically in 1930 when the Stalinist regime turned against abstraction Malevich was ostracized from the Art world, stripped of his teaching titles, and forbidden to create art. Many of his previously praised works began to be heavily negatively criticized from Stalin's Regime. His paintings where taken out of museums and many destroyed. Living out the remainder of his life in an exhaled existence Malevich died of cancer in May of 1935.

"Rectangle and Circle, 1915"

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