Suprematism was an art movement developed by Russian artist Kasimir Malevich in 1917. Malevich declared Suprematism as a new “realism” in painting, using basic geometric shapes on a white background. His notable work called Suprematist Composition: White on White (1918) is a well-known example of this movement. The art is non-objective and intended to express the essential elements of purity and simplicity.
Malevich divided Suprematism into three phases: black, color, and white; each representing the evolution of the style. He continued to develop Suprematist ideas in architectural models of utopian towns. Malevich’s trajectory mirrored the tumultuous period surrounding the October Revolution in 1917 when his paintings were exhibited at The Last Futurist Exhibition of Painting 0.10 based on his new geometric style.
Malevich wrote two books explaining his theories on Suprematism – “From Cubism and Futurism to Suprematism” and “The Non-Objective World: The Manifesto of Suprematism.” Before inventing his own movement, he tried various painting styles which were mostly derivative before creating something wholly unique with the birth of Suprematism.
Today, many consider malevich as one of history’s most significant pioneers in modern abstraction for introducing geometry within painting traditions leading other abstract painters such as Piet Mondrian later treating it with more developed theoretical underpinnings escalating various artistic directions starting from Constructivism to De Stijl’s Neo-Plasticism afterward spreading throughout Europe having a great influence over 20th-century art movements like minimalism or kinetic art.