Kazimir Malevich - The Black Square

by Stephan Franck


The Black Square by Kazimir Malevich is one of the icons of 20th century painting. The inventor of Suprematism, who neglected representationalism in favor of depicting pure sensations, first exhibited this painting in Saint Petersburg in 1915. Malevich goes far beyond the scale of his other paintings.

What remains is a pure black square surrounded by a white painted border. This is not a black square alone, but a metaphysical representation of the then known world of things. He created this by craquelée, a cracking of the surface that he applied in such a way as to allow the white grounding to show through. The "shining through", can thus be seen as an occasion to examine more closely the "behind". With scientific precision, the artists of the Bauhaus and De Stijl set out to take up this challenge. New ideas for a balanced organism in all design disciplines were to develop from the simultaneously emerging art currents of the early 1920s.


Kazimir Malevich - The Black Square

Oil on canvas, c. 1923, 79 x 79 cm, Russian Museum in St. Petersburg

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