Kazimir Malevich

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Kazimir Severinovich Malevich (Russian: Казимир Северинович Малевич, Polish: Kazimierz Malewicz, Ukrainian: Казимир Северинович Малевич [kazɪˈmɪr sɛwɛˈrɪnɔwɪtʃ mɑˈlɛwɪtʃ], German: Kasimir Malewitsch, Belarusian: Казіме́р Мале́віч), (February 23, 1879, previously 1878: see below – May 15, 1935) was a Russian painter and art theoretician, born in Ukraine of ethnic Polish parents. He was a pioneer of geometric abstract art and the originator of the Avant-garde Suprematist movement.

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Life and work

Kazimir Malevich was born near Kiev in the Kiev Governorate of the Russian Empire. His parents, Seweryn and Ludwika Malewicz, were ethnic Poles,[1] and he was baptised in the Roman Catholic Church. His father managed a sugar factory. Kazimir was the first of fourteen children, although only nine of the children survived into adulthood. His family moved often and he spent most childhood in the villages of Ukraine amidst sugar-beet plantations, far from centers of culture. Until age 12 he knew nothing of professional artists, though art had surrounded him in childhood. He delighted in peasant embroidery, and in decorated walls and stoves. He himself was able to paint in the peasant style. He studied drawing in Kiev from 1895 to 1896.

From 1896 to 1904 Kazimir Malevich lived in Kursk. In 1904, after the death of his father, he moved to Moscow. He studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture from 1904 to 1910 and in the studio of Fedor Rerberg in Moscow (1904–1910). In 1911 he participated in the second exhibition of the group Soyuz Molodyozhi (Union of Youth) in St. Petersburg, together with Vladimir Tatlin and, in 1912, the group held its third exhibition, which included works by Aleksandra Ekster, Tatlin and others. In the same year he participated in an exhibition by the collective Donkey's Tail in Moscow. By that time his works were influenced by Natalia Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov, Russian avant-garde painters who were particularly interested in Russian folk art called lubok. In March 1913 a major exhibition of Aristarkh Lentulov's paintings opened in Moscow. The effect of this exhibition was comparable with that of Paul Cézanne in Paris in 1907, as all the main Russian avant-garde artists of the time (including Malevich) immediately absorbed the cubist principles and began using them in their works. Already in the same year the Cubo-Futurist opera Victory Over the Sun with Malevich's stage-set became a great success. In 1914 Malevich exhibited his works in the Salon des Independants in Paris together with Alexander Archipenko, Sonia Delaunay, Aleksandra Ekster and Vadim Meller, among others.

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