Archive for January 29, 2013

Artist of the moment……Kazimir/ Kasimir Malevich…..

Kazimir Malevich was born in Kiev, Russia in the year 1879. Some sources say 1878, but it is officially 1879.

Malevich did a fair amount of work promoting the Political ideas of the Communist party. I enjoy his works in this style that would be perfect for woodcuts or linocuts.

When you think of the artist Kazimir Malevich, Suprematism should come to mind. This was a movement that dealt with art as non objective or with reference to something. The square wasn’t supposed to be anything else. Not a brillo pad box or box of  Wheaties, just a square. Malevich made his first type of painting in this style in 1913.

Here is a great clip featuring a show at the Gagosian Gallery. Its great to watch the curator get so excited about his Suprematist works. He made barely more than eighty, forty seven are in public museums, around twenty were destroyed. These are his most significant works so take five minutes to relax and check out his masterworks! The breakout year for Malevich was in 1915.

In the clip above the curator tells us also showing at the same time is Richard Serra. I found these two artists experimented with the same ideas of form and space. Here is a piece done in 1915 titled black square by Malevich.


Richard Serra has spent much of his career working with form and especially with the black square format. Here is a great example of Serra’s style, he is primarily known for his work with sculpting and the basic geometric shapes.


Malevich produced many lithographs which can be found from $2,500 to $20,000. The artist set a record for himself and a painting titled Suprematist Composition that sold for $60 million dollars in 2008.

In this clip some of the artists work set to piano music.

Malevich’s family came to Russia from Poland. His father ran a sugar factory. Malevich was one of fourteen children, nine made it to adult age.

Malevich first studied drawing at the age of sixteen and seventeen years old. The artist went on to attend the Moscow School of Painting. In addition to going to class, the artist was able to learn from a professional painter in a studio setting. His teacher’s name was Fedor Rerberg.

Rerberg was a  great painter of all things. Check out this picture that is a indeed a great still life (watermelons, nude (the two ladies), and seascape ( the setting with the nude and water reminds me of Jeremy Lipking, Anders Zorn, or John Whorf who also painted great nudes alongside the water. ) The painting below is by Rerberg.


Malevich also explored the theme of painting with shades of white. Or if you like books, a modern very light fifty shades of grey! This work is held in the Museum of  Modern Art’s Collection.


Another artist who explored the same idea decades later was Robert Rauschenberg. Here is style of white on white painting.


Malevich died from cancer in 1935 at the age of fifty six years old . At his funeral his body was shown below a black square and funeral goers were allowed to wave black banners.