Born: 23 February 1879; Kiev, Ukraine
Died: 15 May 1935; Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation
Art Movement: Suprematism
Genre: abstract painting
The originator of the avant-garde suprematist movement, Kasimir Malevich was a Russian painter and art theorist. As a child, he grew up in sugar-beet plantations, and had little knowledge of professional artists. However, his artistic personality shone through in his childhood and he was skilled in peasant embroidery, and decorated walls and stoves. He also painted in the Russian peasant style.
In his late teens, he studied drawing in Kiev, and moved to Moscow in 1904 after the death of his father, studying at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. He first exhibited his art at the 1911 exhibition of the Soyuz Molodyozhi, a group of Russian avant-garde artists. The same year, he also exhibited with the Donkey’s Tail group, an even more radical group of artists. By 1914, he was exhibiting at the Salon des Independants in Paris, and a year later published his manifesto on geometric suprematism, From Cubism to Suprematism.
Malevich’s other artistic endeavors included an interest in aerial photography and aviation, which led to many canvases depicting aerial landscapes. He also designed set and costume designs for the theater. After the Russian Revolution in 1917, he was a prominent faculty member of a number of art schools, including Vitebsk Practical Art School, Leningrad Academy of Arts, Kiev State Art Institute, and House of the Arts in Leningrad. At the height of his career in 1926, he published a collection of his theories on artistic supremacy, The World as Non-Objectivity.