In 1913 the theatrical experience of Victory over the Sun, in collaboration with Matiushin, Khiebnikov and Kruchenych — documented with videos and costumes in the Spazio Zero — brought to light Futurist influences and the emerging of monochrome, going to the genesis of what was to be the Black Square a true icon of Twentieth-Century abstract art.
At the basis of the Suprematist theory, which claims the supremacy of the pure artistic feeling, are important considerations expressed by the artists with lucid theoretical rigor in a number of texts and letters, among the “From Cubism to Suprematism. The New Painterly Realism”, from 1915. This is a crucially important text, published in connection with the Futurist exhibition “0.10” inaugurated on December 17, 1915 in St. Petersburg, where Malevich’s definitive break with his traveling companions, Tatlin, Larionov and Goncharova took place.
No longer Cubist, no longer Futurist, Malevich maintained that the visible is irreconcilable with supreme reality, that one who copies real objects in not a creator but a predator, that at the basis of the reality of objects lies abstract thought, and that the artist is one who does not adopt the “gaze” that petrifies, but “vision”, a less physiological and more mental process, which reveals the sense of universe.
These were the years when the theories of non-Euclidean geometry were gaining increasing acceptance, when the theory of relativity was proclaimed, and Malevich is fully entitled to occupy a place in this context; his are not squares but quadrangles, whose sides are not parallel, painted with an exquisitely manual technique, without the use of rulers. His spatial dimensions are double or quadruple, breaking free of the blocked logic of three-dimensionality as indicated by the very title of Red Square, which is Painterly Realism of a Peasant Woman in two dimensions.
In this as in other Suprematist paintings we find surfaces of color immersed in a cosmic Space without dimensions, works that, on different occasions, are hung in different ways to emphasize the impossibility of an upper and lower, an above and below. The essence of the objects, that is, their abstract souls, rotate, establish relationships, overlap one another, without ever losing their rigorous equilibrium, expressing the concept of freedom controlled by the skillful direction of the artist.
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