"This term is not to be confused with supremacism."

Suprematism ( Russian: Супрематизм): is an art movement focused on fundamental geometric forms (in particular the square and circle) which formed in Russia in 1915-1916.

When Kasimir Malevich originated Suprematism in 1915 he was an established painter having exhibited in the "Donkey's Tail" and the "Der Blaue Reiter" (The Blue Rider) exhibitions of 1912 with cubo-futurist works. The proliferation of new artistic forms in painting, poetry and theatre as well as a revival of interest in the traditional folk art of Russia were a rich environment in which a Modernist culture was being born.

In his book "The Non-Objective World", which was published abroad as a Bauhaus Book in 1927, Malevich described the inspiration which brought about the powerful image of the black square on a white ground:

:'I felt only night within me and it was then that I conceived the new art, which I called Suprematism'.

Malevich also ascribed the birth of Suprematism to "Victory Over the Sun", Kruchenykh's Futurist opera production for which he designed the sets and costumes in 1913. One of the drawings for the backcloth shows a black square divided diagonally into a black and a white triangle. Because of the simplicity of these basic forms they were able to signify a new beginning.

He created a Suprematist 'grammar' based on fundamental geometric forms; in particular, the square and the circle. In the 0.10 Exhibition in 1915, Malevich exhibited his early experiments in Suprematist painting. The centerpiece of his show was the "Black square on white", placed in what is called the "red/beautiful corner" in Russian Orthodox tradition ; the place of the main icon in a house.

Another important influence on Malevich were the ideas of the Russian mystic-mathematician, philosopher, and disciple of Georges Gurdjieff; P. D. Ouspensky who wrote of

'a fourth dimension or a Fourth Way beyond the three to which our ordinary senses have access', [(Gooding, 2001)] .

Some of the titles to paintings in 1915 express the concept of a non-euclidian geometry which imagined forms in movement, or through time; titles such as: "Two dimensional painted masses in the state of movement." These give some indications towards an understanding of the "Suprematic" compositions produced between 1915 and 1918.

The Supremus group which, in addition to Malevich included Aleksandra Ekster, Olga Rozanova, Nadezhda Udaltsova, Anna Kagan, Ivan Kliun, Liubov Popova, Nikolai Suetin, Ilya Chashnik, Lazar Khidekel, Nina Genke-Meller, Ivan Puni and Ksenia Boguslavskaya met from 1915 onwards to discuss the philosophy of Suprematism and its development into other areas of intellectual life. There was some crossover with Constructivism, with Suprematists such as Popova and especially El Lissitzky working on propaganda and industrial design. Lissitzky spread Suprematist ideas abroad in the early 1920s. In addition, Nikolai Suetin used Suprematist motifs on works at the St Petersburg Lomonosov Porcelain Factory, where Malevich and Chashnik were also employed, with Malevich designing a Suprematist teapot. The Suprematists also made architectural models in the 1920s, which offered a different conception of socialist buildings to those developed in Constructivist architecture.

This development in artistic expression came about when Russia was in a revolutionary state, when ideas were in ferment and the old order was being swept away. As the new order became established, and Stalinism took hold from 1924 on, the state began limiting the freedom of artists. cultural policy — but signed the picture with a tiny black-over-white square.



*"Kasimir Malevich, The Non-objective World". English translation, Paul Theobald and Company, 1959
*Camilla Gray, "The Russian Experiment in Art", Thames and Hudson, 1976
*Mel Gooding, "Abstract Art", Tate Publishing, 2001

External links

* [ New Statesman on Suprematist Porcelain]
* [ smARThistory: Malevich, "Suprematist Composition: White on White"]
* [ Chronology of related art fields in the 1910s] list discusses Malevich's activities

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • suprematism — SUPREMATÍSM s.n. Grupare artistică rusă care se încadrează în curentul abstracţionismului geometrizant. – Din rus. suprematizm. Trimis de ionel, 29.07.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  suprematísm s. n. (sil. pre ) Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa:… …   Dicționar Român

  • suprematism — /seuh prem euh tiz euhm, soo /, n. (sometimes cap.) Fine Arts. a nonrepresentational style of art developed in Russia in the early 20th century, characterized by severely simple geometric shapes or forms and an extremely limited palette. [ < Russ …   Universalium

  • suprematism — noun Usage: often capitalized Etymology: Russian suprematizm, from French suprématie supremacy + Russian izm ism Date: 1933 an early 20th century art movement in Russia producing abstract works featuring flat geometric forms • suprematist… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Suprematism — noun A genre of abstract art based on simple, geometric forms …   Wiktionary

  • suprematism — noun a Russian abstract art movement developed c.1915, characterized by simple geometrical shapes and associated with ideas of spiritual purity. Derivatives suprematist noun …   English new terms dictionary

  • suprematism — su·prem·a·tism …   English syllables

  • suprematism — /səˈprɛmətɪzəm/ (say suh premuhtizuhm), /su / (say sooh ) noun a type of abstract art originating in Russia in 1913, which used the rectangle, triangle, circle and cross as symbols to express feelings in a visual form. {Russian suprematízm} …   Australian English dictionary

  • suprematism — s ( en) KONST …   Clue 9 Svensk Ordbok

  • suprematism — noun a geometric abstractionist movement originated by Kazimir Malevich in Russia that influenced constructivism • Hypernyms: ↑artistic movement, ↑art movement …   Useful english dictionary

  • Ilya Chashnik — Suprematism , 1923 Ilya Grigorevich Chashnik (1902, Lucyn, Russian Empire, currently Ludza, Latvia 1929, Leningrad) was a suprematist artist, a pupil of Kazimir Malevich and a founding member of the UNOVIS school.[ …   Wikipedia

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