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Kazimir Malevich

/Works and biography

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Untitled, ca. 1916
Oil on canvas, 53 x 53 cm
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation,
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice
Acquisition confirmed in 2009 by agreement with the Heirs of Kazimir Malevich
76.2553 PG 42


Kazimir Malevich proposed the abstract style of Suprematism as an alternative to earlier art forms, which he considered inappropriate to his own time. He proposed a self-referential art in which proportion, scale, color, and disposition obey intrinsic, nonutilitarian laws, and considered his non-objective forms to be reproductions of purely affective sensations that bore no relation to external phenomena. Malevich’s units are developed from the straight line and its two-dimensional extension, the plane, and are constituted of contrasting areas of unmodeled color, distinguished by various textural effects. The diagonal orientation of geometric forms creates rhythms on the surface of the canvas. The overlapping of elements and their varying scale relationships within a white ground provide a sense of indefinitely extensive space. A magnetic attraction and repulsion seem to dictate the slow rotational movement of parts.

credits: Hangar Design Group