The Modern World During and After the World Wars, C. 1914–1960

Early Twentieth-Century Avant-Garde

What is Suprematism?

Suprematism—developed between 1913 and 1915 by Russian artist Kasimir Malevich 204 (1878–1935)—was concerned with pure aesthetics and therefore promoted total abstraction and freedom from realism, politics, and the past. Suprematist paintings often depict geometric abstractions; Malevich was interested in the square as a pure form, and much of his work focuses on rectangular composition, such as Black Square (1915) and Suprematist Composition: White on White (1918). Other paintings, such as Suprematist Composition Conveying the Feeling of a Mystic ‘Wave’ from Outer Space (1917), were visual attempts to communicate with the subconscious. Other artists associated with Suprematism were Ivan Puni (1894–1956) and Liubov Popova (1889–1924), among others.


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