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Artists of the Era of Suprematism

The beginning of the 20th century was marked by massive changes in the social, political and spiritual spheres of society. The sphere of art is no exception, since it is very sensitive to any changes and is the quickest one to react to them. Wars, catastrophes, technological progress, cultural stagnation and the need to create something new naturally led to the emergence of such a unique phenomenon as the avant-garde – a movement whose representatives are characterized by a revolutionary attitude towards reality.

One of the most interesting and significant avant-garde movements is Suprematism, the theorist and creator of which was Kazimir Malevich. For artists who called themselves Suprematists and denied object art and the realism of the past, the value of the work of art lied not in its content as such, but in the harmony of the combination of color and form. This idea was fully consistent with the principles of Abstractionism – the direction which gave rise to the great majority of avant-garde movements.

Paintings in the style of Suprematism don't really have a plot. The objects depicted on them can vaguely resemble real-life objects, however, this similarity is purely accidental. However, paintings by Suprematist artists, based on geometric forms and pure colors, are to some extent a reflection of reality, since everything material has the same simple forms at its core. Suprematism is a basic, nonobjective art and pure creativity based on sensations, rather than on logic and knowledge.

Iconic works in the style of Suprematism are such paintings as Supremus No. 56 and Black Square by Kazimir Malevich. Propaganda posters and book illustrations by El Lissitzky, works by Nikolai SuetinLyubov Popova and Ivan Kliun are also widely known.

According to the artists who worked in the style of Suprematism, their paintings equalized the power of man and nature in terms of creativity, since color and paint were completely freed from any roles, except for creating a sense of harmony and completeness of the composition.

Famous Suprematist artists

The most famous Suprematist painter, as well as the founder and main ideologist of the movement, was Kazimir Malevich. Not only an artist, but also an art theorist, philosopher and teacher, he devoted a lot of time to writing works on the theory of painting, delivered reports and lectures. His painting in the style of Suprematism Black Square (which is part of a triptych) is one of the most recognizable works in the world. Two other parts depict the black circle and the black cross, together with the square representing the original and fundamental concepts of Suprematism.

It is noteworthy that there are several "black squares", and it is unlikely that any of them is a copy of the other one, since each was painted in its own special time and was accompanied by different emotions experienced by the artist.

El Lissitzky is another representative of Suprematism, no less famous than the founder of the style. His posters, illustrations for Mayakovsky’s books and paintings are fully consistent with the principles of the movement, and are full of magnificent shapes and colors. Still, those were Lissitzky's other projects that brought him fame. He was a man of many talents and took interest not only in painting and graphic art, but also in typography, photography and architecture.

Lissitzky invented a unique system that allows to combine geometric planes with three-dimensional objects. In fact, this system, called Proun made it possible to create voluminous suprematist installations that look like they soar in the air. At a certain angle, flat shapes turned into three-dimensional and vice versa, the density of the material was emphasized or unexpectedly camouflaged with the help of color: created objects interacted with space.

El Lissitzky's ideas and inventions helped Suprematism to get to the level of sculpture and architecture. Unfortunately, the artist’s dreams of a utopian world city did not come true. Even though his horizontal skyscrapers were never put up in Moscow, similar buildings were erected in Georgia, Germany, China, and Ecuador. The source of inspiration for project developers was Lissitzky's drawings, created in the 20s of the last century.
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