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Article

Mikhail F. Kiselyov

(Vasil’yevich)

(b Valayka Station, Novgorod Province [now Lykoshino, Tver’ region], 1878; d en route from Germany to Paris, Feb 22, 1936).

Russian graphic artist, ceramicist, painter and designer. In 1896 he studied at the School of Drawing at the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts and in 1897 at Maria Tenisheva’s art school in St Petersburg, where he worked under Il’ya Repin until 1900. In 1904 he worked in the pottery studio at the Abramtsevo colony. At this period he employed Art Nouveau elements in his work, as in the majolica decorations for the Hotel Metropole, St Petersburg (early 1900s) and the majolica panel St George Triumphant for the Municipal Primary School on Bol’shaya Tsaritsynskaya [now Bol’shaya Pirogovskaya] Street in Moscow (1909). He took up book illustration in 1904 and his graphic talent flourished in the 1910s. His work for Apollon was particularly successful, his illustrations first appearing in its pages in 1911. Chekhonin soon became an original and skilful artist, using a sharp and elastic line interspersed with dots. From ...

Article

Troels Andersen

(Severinovich)

(b Kiev, Feb 26, 1878; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], May 15, 1935).

Russian painter, printmaker, decorative artist and writer of Ukranian birth. One of the pioneers of abstract art, Malevich was a central figure in a succession of avant-garde movements during the period of the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917 and immediately after. The style of severe geometric abstraction with which he is most closely associated, Suprematism (see fig.), was a leading force in the development of Constructivism, the repercussions of which continued to be felt throughout the 20th century. His work was suppressed in Soviet Russia in the 1930s and remained little known during the following two decades. The reassessment of his reputation in the West from the mid-1950s was matched by the renewed influence of his work on the paintings of Ad Reinhardt and on developments such as Zero, Hard-edge painting and Minimalism.

Article

John Milner

[Rus.: Suprematizm]

Term coined in 1915 by Kazimir Malevich for a new system of art, explained in his booklet Ot kubizma i futurizma k suprematizmu: Novyy zhivopisnyy realizm (‘From Cubism and Futurism to Suprematism: the new realism in painting’). The term itself implied the supremacy of this new art in relation to the past. Malevich saw it as purely aesthetic and concerned only with form, free from any political or social meaning. He stressed the purity of shape, particularly of the square, and he regarded Suprematism as primarily an exploration of visual language comparable to contemporary developments in writing. Suprematist paintings were first displayed at the exhibition Poslednyaya futuristicheskaya vystavka kartin: 0.10 (‘The last Futurist exhibition of paintings: 0.10’) held in Petrograd (now St Petersburg) in December 1915; they comprised geometric forms which appeared to float against a white background. While Suprematism began before the Revolution of 1917, its influence, and the influence of Malevich’s radical approach to art, was pervasive in the early Soviet period; ...