In 1915, Russian painter Kasimir Malevich abandoned figurative forms and introduced a new mode of abstract painting – Suprematism. The movement aimed to revolutionize traditional representation by embracing geometric abstraction and an autonomous visual language of “pure artistic feeling.” Malevich’s paintings were characterized by basic shapes floating against white backgrounds, devoid of reference to the outside world. He believed that artwork should be dated to the moment when the idea of the painting came to an artist’s mind.
Malevich divided Suprematism into three phases – black, color, and white – although they did not follow a strict chronology. In December 1915, at Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings 0.10 in Petrograd, Malevich unveiled his radically new mode of abstract painting that abandoned all references to external reality in favor of geometric abstraction. He declared Suprematism was a new “realism” in painting.
Aside from his paintings, Malevich laid down his theories in writing such as “From Cubism and Futurism to Suprematism” (1915) and The Non-Objective World: The Manifesto of Suprematism (1926). Through these publications, he explained the principles behind his art movement philosophy.
Suprematism influenced other artists who subsequently incorporated aspects into their own work such as Piet Mondrian or Dutch painter De Stijl Movement during the following years.