The great Russian painter Malevich (1878-1935) was an artistic genius and poineer in many ways who helped give birth to multiple genres and strains of modern art.
By way of introduction to this incredible artist, I present to you one of his most excellent works, Black Square (Oil on Canvass: 1915).
In this instance, the artist has applied black paint to a square-ish canvass. In the corners, you will find black paint and yet interestingly (and most innovatively) the central section of the painting features more black paint. I have prepared a detail image (below), focussing on the upper section of the piece where we can see the black paint in finer view.
(Black Square, detail)
Interpretations on the meaning of this amazing work vary from critic to critic, generation to generation, and the artist himself muttered something about art being something that owes us nothing, but one thing we can say with certainty is that it is black and it always will be black. I see it is a black work of art. It is the old black, and the old black will perennially be the new black (except for 1983 when it was grey) and for this reason the artwork will maintain relevence for countless millenia.
1915 was a watershed year for Malevich and his best works were produced in this, the second year of the great war. Here I present another of his works, Black Circle (1915).
A cursory glance would suggest that this piece is in many ways similar to Black Square, but if you stare it long enough you will notice that in this ground-breaking work, the shape of the 'black' is circular, not square. It surprises and bewilders on several levels. Not only that, the black circle is off-centre which adds to the sense of wonderment. Inspired by Ouspensky who spoke of "a fourth dimension beyond the three to which our ordinary senses have access" Malevich proceeded to develop a stream of art self-called 'Suprematism' that presented geometric patterns in varying guises.
The circular figure represents a 'circle' and the 'black' paint which the artist uses is black, thus cleverly arriving at the title 'Black Circle'.
Black Circle is surely the Magnum Opus of this experimental artform that still resonates today. Before Suprematism we were forced to endure portraits, landscapes and still-lifes that spoke volumes and told incredible stories and inspired great works of music and literature. Suprematism, however, opened up the doors for works such as John Cage's 'Silence' and the Commonwealth Bank logo.
Just like dreams, interpretation is open, buit for the record, I interpret the Suprematism works of Malevich as being both black, and with shape.
I would be interested in your interpretations.