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Malevich Kazimir Severinovich

MALEVICH Kazimir Severinovich

February 23, 1878 (Kiev) — May 15, 1935 (Leningrad)

Painter, graphic artist, master of decorative and applied arts, scene-designer, art theoretician

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Малевич, Казимир Северинович


MALEVICH Kazimir Severinovich

February 23, 1878 (Kiev) — May 15, 1935 (Leningrad)

Painter, graphic artist, master of decorative and applied arts, scene-designer, art theoretician

Kazimir Malevich was born to the family of ethnic Poles and was the eldest of nine children. In 1894 he attended the drawing school in Kiev. In 1896 he moved to Kursk with his family and worked as a draftsman in the Railway administration bureau.  In 1904 he moved to Moscow and began his studies at Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (MUZhVZ), spending his summer holidays in Kursk. In 1905 Malevich took lessons at the studio of the painter Fedor Rerberg.

In 1907 Malevich first exhibited his works at the 14th exhibition of Moscow Association of Artists (MTKh). That same year he visited an exhibition in Moscow and saw works of the leading masters of French art (Paul Gauguin, Paul Cézanne, André Derain, Jean Metzinger and others) for the first time.  In 1908 and 1909 he took part in the 15th and 16th exhibitions of MTKh. In 1910 he participated in the first exhibition of the group Bubnovy Valet (“Jack of Diamonds”) and became its permanent member. In 1911 and 1912 he took part in the exhibitions of the Union of Youth; in 1912 he also participated in the exhibition of avant-garde art Osliniy Khvost (“Donkey’s Tail”). Malevich met artist and composer Mikhail Matyushin, who later became one of his closest friends.

In 1913 Malevich entered the Union of Youth and showed his works at the major avant-garde exhibition Mishen (“Target”). The same year he also supplied stage and costume designs for the production of the “first Futurist opera”, entitled Victory over the Sun.  The music for this opera was composed by Matushin, and the main text was written by the poet Aleksei Kruchenykh. The opera was staged at the Luna-park in Moscow and became the manifesto for the First All-Russian Futurist Congress.  In 1914 he left the Union of Youth and took part in the Salon of Independents exhibitions in Paris.

After the outbreak of the First World War, Malevich created a series of agitation posters in lubok style (Russian folk art).  In 1915 Malevic helped to organize the Tramvai V and 0,10 exhibitions in Petrograd, where he showed ten Suprematist works. He also published a tract called From Cubism to Suprematism. The New Realism in Painting.

In 1916 Malevich exhibited his works at a Futurist exhibition called Magazin (“Shop”), which was organized by the artist and architect Vladimir Tatlin in one of the Moscow stores.


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