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"Suprematism is the art of colour", wrote Kazimir Malevich. These are the colours of light in space as seen by the eye. Hence, they are arranged according to the laws of the prismatic spectrum, as in Impressionism. Red, orange, yellow are found at the light end of the spectrum and in light. Green, blue and violet are found at the dark end of the spectrum and in shadow. As colours appear between light and dark, these two phenomena are represented by white and black in Suprematist paintings. The ground of Malevich's Suprematist paintings is white because it is a field of light. His students such as Ilya Chasnik and Nikolai Suetin often began with a field of darkness – a black ground – out of which coloured forms appeared. Of Malevich's fellow-Suprematists there were Ivan Kliun, Olga Rozanova, Mikhail Menkov, and Ivan Puni with whom he first showed Suprematist paintings in 1915 at the Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings 0.10, Petrograd. Most of the Non-Objective painters also went through a Suprematist phase in their work. Around 1918, Malevich began to reinterpret Suprematism, seeing its stages as vehicles of states of consciousness. He described this as 5 "phases": the Static Sensation, the Dynamic Sensation, the Magnetic Sensation, the Sensation of Non-Existence, and the Sensation of Absolute Non-Objectivity. 1915 to mid-1920s. (Source)


Kazimir Malevich[edit]


  • Kazimir Malevich, "Suprematizm", in X Gosudarstvennaya vystavka. Bespredmetnoe tvorchestvo i suprematizm, Moscow, 1919. (Russian)
  • Kazimir Malevich, Die gegenstandslose Welt, Munich: A. Langen [Bauhausbuch 11), 1927, 104 pp; new ed., exp., Mainz: Florian Kupferberg, 1980. Russian original written in 1923. (German)


  • Larissa A. Schadowa, Suche und Experiment: aus der Geschichte der russischen und sowjetischen Kunst zwischen 1910 und 1930, trans. Helmut Barth, Dresden: Verlag der Kunst, 1978, 371 pp. (German)
    • L. Zhadova, Malevich: Suprematism and Revolution in Russian Art, 1910–1930, trans. Alexander Lieven, London: Thames and Hudson, 1982, 371 pp. (English)
  • Charlotte Douglas, Swans of Other Worlds: Kazimir Malevich and The Origins of Abstraction in Russia, Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press, 1980, xii+147 pp. (English)
  • Aaron Scharf, "Suprematism" [1966], in Concepts of Modern Art, 3rd ed., ed. Nikos Stangos, Thames & Hudson, 1994. (English)
  • S.O. Khan-Magomedov (С.О. Хан-Магомедов), Suprematizm i arkhitektura (problemy formoobrazovaniya) [Супрематизм и архитектура (проблемы формообразования)], Moscow: Arkhitektura-S, 2007, 520 pp. [7] (Russian)
  • Aleksandra Shatskikh (Александра Шатских), Kazimir Malevich i obshchestvo Supremus [Казимир Малевич и общество Супремус], Moscow: Tri kvadrata, 2009, 464 pp. (Russian)
  • Aleksandra Shatskikh, Black Square: Malevich and the Origin of Suprematism, Yale University Press, 2012, 320 pp. (English)
  • Christina Lodder, Celebrating Suprematism: New Approaches to the Art of Kazimir Malevich, Leiden: Brill, 2018. (English)

For more see literature on Malevich.

See also[edit]