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HomeLatest NewsKazimir Malevich: "I opened the doors to the beasts: let them eat...

Kazimir Malevich: “I opened the doors to the beasts: let them eat the remains of your art!”

Date: May 20, 2024 Time: 08:33:03

It is 145 years since the birth of the avant-garde artist Kazimir Malevich.



Kazimir Malevich was not supposed to become an artist. His father assumed he would produce sugar, because he himself was a sugar factory manager and turned beets into a white sweet powder. But Kazimir, who was one of the nine (!) children in the family, did not like the plant at all. But he was fascinated by colors and colors, nature in all its manifestations: clouds, puddles, the sky, trees, the sun…

Of course, there was no one to teach the boy to paint: he saw a real painting only when he was eleven years old, at a fair in kyiv, where his father took him. The image was primitive, but it shocked the boy’s imagination. Since then he has been trying to draw himself. “He makes paintings, watercolors and oils from different types of clay and all kinds of powders, and copies photographs from Niva magazine, trying by all means to make them look “similar”, “as in life,” wrote his biographer Ksenia Buksha. Then his compassionate mother will buy him paintings. At the age of fifteen he will sell his first painting, “Moonlight Night,” for five rubles, then he will sell another, “Grove with Storks”…

As everyone knows, the adult Malevich will forever discard all these storks and groves. He will literally write volumes about his attitude towards art and state: “When the habit of consciousness of seeing in paintings images of corners of nature, shameless Madonnas and Venuses disappears, then we will see only a purely pictorial work… Reproducing objects and favorite corners of nature is like admiring a thief on our chained feet… We cannot use the ships on which the Saracens traveled, so in art we must look for forms that correspond to modern life…”

But this was still a long way off. The Malevich family moved frequently; when this happened again, they arrived at Kursk; There Casimiro painted outdoor landscapes. He married a sixteen-year-old girl, whose name, ironically, was Kazimira. And at the age of 26 he left her with the child and rushed to Moscow to receive an artistic education. But he was not accepted into the Moscow School of Painting. However, the stubborn Malevich, although not immediately, settled in the capital.

He lived there very badly. His friend recalled: “The fall came, he didn’t have a coat and then they promised him a custom job; He came to see me and asked me to give him a coat so he could go get this job; It was Sunday and I was sitting at home. And after that, he more than once came to ask me for a coat to receive an order. At that difficult time for Malevich, Brocard (perfumery company) supported him with his orders.” Malevich created a bottle of Severny cologne in the shape of a block of ice, on top of which was a polar bear. An absolutely modern design job, even by today’s standards! This colony was produced over many years, but Malevich’s authorship was definitively established only decades later…

He became interested in Cézanne, then joined the Futurists and in 1913 participated in the production of the opera “Victory over the Sun”, which seemed to his contemporaries an example of pure play. Characters called “The Traveler Through All the Ages”, “Someone Malicious”, “The One Who Talks on the Telephone” or “The Multicolored Eye” sang lyrics like:

“Fat beauties

We lock ourselves in the house

Let there be drunks

Several people walk naked.

we don’t have songs

Sighs, prizes,

What did they do to shape it?

Rotten naiads…”

The scandal was terrible: the audience in the room went crazy and howled. The authors were very satisfied.

Malevich created several huge sets for the performance and came up with the lighting. And there the Black Square appeared for the first time, which seemed to defeat the solar circle. More precisely, he expressed “the victory of active human creativity over the passive form of nature.”


In fact, Malevich created the painting “Black Square” two years later. Together with the “Black Circle” and the “Black Cross”, he appeared at the exhibition “0.10”, which opened in St. Petersburg on January 1, 1916 (new style). The square hung in the corner between two walls and the ceiling, where icons were normally hung in houses.

“The black square in the white frame is not a simple joke, nor a simple challenge, nor a small random episode that occurred in a house on the Champ de Mars, but it is one of the acts of self-affirmation of that principle. “who has as his name the abomination of desolation and who prides himself on the fact that, through pride, arrogance, the trampling of everything loving and tender, he will lead everyone to death,” Alexander Benois wrote angrily. Tatyana Tolstaya, in her essay “The Square,” angrily echoed this: “Malevich deliberately hung a black hole in a sacred place: she called his work “an icon of our time.” Instead of “red” there is black (zero color), instead of a face there is a hole (zero lines), instead of an icon, that is, a window upward, towards the light, towards eternal life, there is darkness, a cellar, a trapdoor to the underworld, eternal darkness.”

However, Malevich is not so simple. They say that he himself was so shocked when creating “Square” that he did not eat or sleep for a week. It seemed to him that he had reached the “highest final thought in the field of art”, he abolished all previous painting: everything gathered in the “Square” to die. Now the canvases were only about color, form and composition, and not about imitation of nature. “The square is the face of new art! The square is alive, a real baby. The first step of pure creativity in art. Before him were naive deformities and copies of nature… I freed all the birds from the eternal cage, I opened the doors to the animals of the zoological garden. Let them peck and eat the remains of your art… I am happy to have escaped the inquisitorial dungeon of academicism. I have reached a plane and I can reach the measurement of a living body. But I will use the dimension from which I will create a new one…”

That’s all: according to Malevich, the “Black Square” encrypts not only the death of the old, but also the emergence of a new and definitive art. The square with its darkness resembles the chaos from which the world was born; Its four sides are the cardinal points; The paint with which it was painted was created by mixing different colors, among which there was none: black…

Then, in the mid-1910s, he would call his paintings more complex. For example, “Pictorial realism of a soccer player: colorful masses in the fourth dimension” (the canvas represents black, blue, yellow, red quadrangles and a green circle). He really wanted to enter this mystical and unattainable fourth dimension. He also said that when he painted “Black Square,” it was as if “lightning flashed through the canvas.”

It is curious that for more than a hundred years the canvas has been covered with cracks: crackles (by the way, also somewhat similar to lightning), and through them various colors clearly appear. Malevich simply painted “Square” on top of another bright, multicolored paint. And now it seems a very impressive symbol: there is still something behind the “eternal darkness” that seemed to outraged spectators.


The first years after the revolution were a time of triumph for Malevich. In 1919 he arrived in Vitebsk, where, with the participation of Marc Chagall, the School of Folk Art was created. Soon Malevich declared Chagall a “veteran” (it was an antonym he invented for the word “innovator”) and literally expelled him from this school, as well as from the city in general. Chagall remembers: “One day, when I was going out again to get bread, paints and money for school, my teachers started a riot in which the students were also involved. May God forgive them! And then those whom I warmed up, to whom I gave a job and a piece of bread, decided to expel me from school. I had to leave its walls within twenty-four hours. That was the end of his activities. There was no one else to fight with. Having appropriated all the property of the academy, even the paintings that I bought with public funds with the intention of opening a museum, they abandoned the school and the students at the mercy of fate and fled.” And in fact, having defeated the “old innovators”, Malevich did not stay in Vitebsk.

He wrote many theoretical and philosophical works, created several original repetitions of “Black Square” (one of them was bought by Vladimir Potanin for a million dollars in August 2003 and transferred to the Hermitage; now it is in the General Staff). He also has “Red Square”. Picturesque realism of a peasant woman in two dimensions” and “Plaza Blanca” (“White on white”). More “suprematist compositions” like the aforementioned “Futbolista”.

And at the end of the 20s, clouds began to gather over Malevich: his suprematism, which was supposed to become the apogee and crown of art, was no longer fashionable (like any avant-garde). In the 1930s, socialist realism triumphed. Malevich paints paintings like “The Red Cavalry Gallops,” he paints peasants with ovals instead of faces; one of his works, “Complex Premonition (Torso with Yellow Shirt),” is accompanied by the inscription “The composition is made up of elements, a feeling of emptiness, loneliness, hopelessness in life.” Nikolai Bukharin in 1933, in a review of his exhibition, declared that his work was a “formalism” that must be eliminated and “a dead end of bourgeois art.”

In the end, Malevich could have ended up in the camps, but prostate cancer killed him first. He dreamed of being buried in a “suprematist coffin” in the shape of a cross, but it turned out much simpler: he was cremated and his ashes were buried in Nemchinovka, which he loved very much, under a large oak tree. Malevich’s great-nephew Stanislav Bogdanov said: “The grave was dug by local children herding goats in the field. They took out the urn, hoping that there would be treasure inside. And since the treasure was not found, they buried it again. And this was repeated several times until finally the ashes were shaken to the ground. During the war, the oak also disappeared; It was struck by lightning and only the rhizome remained of the tree. After the war, the field was handed over to the Academy of Sciences for experimental agriculture, the land was plowed…”

Only in the 21st century did the artist’s relatives at least manage to find the exact place of burial, take earth from there, bury a handful in Nemchinovka under the monument to Malevich and send the other two for the same purposes to Warsaw and Berlin, cities. which the artist loved very much.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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