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Definition: Malevich, Kasimir from Philip's Encyclopedia

Russian painter, an important pioneer of geometric abstract art. Malevich absorbed ideas from cubism (Léger in particular), and futurism. His experiments with the fragmentation and multiplication of images include The Knife Grinder (1912). Malevich founded the suprematism movement (1913), and later concentrated on the development of constructivism.


Summary Article: Malevich, Kasimir Severinovich from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Russian abstract painter. In 1912 he visited Paris where he was influenced by cubism, and in 1913 launched his own abstract style, suprematism. He reached his most abstract in White on White (c. 1918; Museum of Modern Art, New York), a white square painted on a white background, but later returned to figurative themes treated in a semi-abstract style.

He studied at Kief and went to Moscow, c. 1900, where he was impressed by the modern French paintings then being collected there by wealthy merchants. He passed through fauvist, cubist and Futurist phases, but in 1915 turned dramatically to simple geometric forms. His White on White is a celebrated product of his theories, which he vigorously propagated in the early years after the Bolshevik Revolution. The return to conservatism in art in the then USSR, c. 1930, marked the end of his influence, but he was a gifted artist and played a leading role in the history of abstraction.

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