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Suprematism

Suprematism was an artistic movement established by Kasimir Malevich (1878-1935) within Constructivist circles in c. 1913. Malevich articulated the theoretical basis of Suprematism in the "Suprematist Manifesto" in 1915, and later in various writings. He proclaimed it as the complete freeing from objectivity, leading to absolute and pure feeling. At the same time, Suprematist works were influenced by the idea of infinity – the term Suprematism derives from the Latin word "Supremus" and means "highest" or "outermost".
The necessary conditions for the emergence of Suprematism can be found in Malevich’s Constructivist background, in his rejection of mimetic illustration and preference for geometric forms. On a formal level, Suprematism was characterised by the radical and consistent use of simple geometric forms. These forms, arranged on a neutral background, were meant to generate a new perception of spatial structures.
Malevich’s "Black Square on a White Background" (c.1915) was characterised by an extreme focus on pure form, making it an icon of Suprematist art. Its non-objectivity was also its perfection. Malevich’s Suprematism influenced Naum Gabo, Ivan Kliun, Antoine Pevsner, Lyubov Popova, Ivan Puni, Alexander Rodchenko, Nikolai Suetin, Vladimir Tatlin and El Lissitzky. In addition, the group UNOVIS, which included Malevich and El Lissitsky, contributed significantly to the spread of Suprematism.


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