Kazimir Malevich: Black Square

- "I could do that."

- "Yes, but you didn't."


The lack of refined artistic techniques, does not imply lack of artistic sophistication.

To admire the importance of the "Black Square" one should take into consideration Malevich's other works. This #masterpiece can be read as the the final outcome of a series of #deductive interventions, applied on his other works.

In his early works, the artist's favourite topic was the rural life; the human figures gradually transformed into #geometric shapes, following the rural #industrialisation and #urbanisation of his era. Malevich's peasants lose their mouth, which can be read as losing the freedom of speech; they later lose their eyes and ears (which can be read as lack of information and education); their heads (lack of political or other opinion) and their amputation continues until they become simple geometric shapes. Their final stage is the "Black Square" (or is it perhaps the "White on white"?). The "Black Square" is a #political statement.

A pioneer of #geometric #abstract #art, #Melevich became the originator of the avant-garde #Suprematist movement. You could, indeed, copy the "Black Square", but this would serve no purpose. For the "Black Square"'s value lies on its timing and concept. For it is a #signifier; it makes sense within a particular #historical, #social, financial and #political context. For it was an outstanding conception in its era. For it is a #manifestation on its own. For it was not always self-evident that the artist was allowed to paint a black square.

The "Black Square" is considered to be one of the most radical and groundbreaking artworks of the 20th century.

It makes no sense for one to say "I could do that, too." Because the "Black Square" outside its context and era, is nothing but a black square.

#modern #masterpiece #cubism #suprematism #avantgarde #futurism #abstract #history #politics #society


Suggested reading:

Malevich, by Gilles Néret (Taschen)

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