Monday, January 28, 2019


I'm decently knowledgeable about modern art but I had never heard of Suprematism until I meandered through a small exhibit at the MoMa a few years ago.  Since I'm always attracted to stripes, color blocking, and graphic patterning, the work resonated with me instantly.

Founded by Kazimir Malevich around 1915, Russian Suprematism is an abstract art movement which focuses on basic geometric shapes like the circle, rectangle, and square painted in a narrow range of colors. The Suprematists eschewed the typical depiction of objects in favor of what Malevich deemed the "supremacy of pure artistic feeling" in a quest to reach the point of absolute zero where art ceases to be art. (It's called "Abstract" for a reason.)

Suprematism is the kind of art that makes people who can't draw a stick figure say, "That's art? My 2-year old could do better!" But like all forms of artistic expression, it is the artist's mission statement, the context and time in which it is created, and the body of work in it's totality that defines and clarifies it's purpose.

Because the shapes are so simple, it might be hard to say there's a direct connection from Suprematism to contemporary fashion but perhaps through time and space, there's a connection of the collective unconscious from one form of expression to another.

Kazemir Malevich, The Black Square, 1923
No. 21 S/S 2015
Kazemir Malevich, Black Circle, 1915
Yohji Yamamoto
Anrealage Circular Cardigan
Akris as seen in Oyster Magazine, 2015
Kazemir Malevich, Hieratic Suprematist Cross, 1928
Damir Doma S/S 2014
Source Unknown


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