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In 1923, Kazimir Malevich was appointed director of Petrograd State Institute of Artistic Culture. He painted his “Black Cross” the same year. The institute was forced to close – DISRUPTED – in 1926 after a Communist party newspaper called it “a government-supported monastery” rife with “counterrevolutionary sermonizing and artistic debauchery.” The Soviet state was by then heavily promoting a politically sustainable style of art called Socialist Realism – a style Malevich had spent his entire career repudiating.

Malevich’s assumption that a shifting in the attitudes of the Soviet authorities toward the modernist art movement would take place after the death of Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky’s fall from power was proven correct in a couple of years, when the Stalinist regime turned against forms of abstraction, considering them a type of “bourgeois” art, that could not express social realities. As a consequence, many of his works were confiscated and he was banned from creating and exhibiting similar art.

Critics derided Malevich’s art as “a negation of everything good and pure: love of life and love of nature.” The Westernizer artist and art historian Alexandre Benois was one such critic. Malevich responded that art can advance and develop for art’s sake alone, saying that “Art does not need us, and it never did”. (Wp)

A transformation tool is utilized in GIMP (graphic Arts software) to create the disruptions utilizing Kazimir Malevich’s statement – paragraph by paragraph – about Suprematism.

The disruptions are also seen as the “collective nature” of humanity as it relates to revolution. They also conjure up the “Cosmos”. Aleksandra Shatskikh states:

“Kazimir Malevich’s work tells a compelling story about the dream of a new social order, the struggle of revolutionary ideals and the power of art itself. Central to this was his prescient fascination with Outer Space, the Cosmos and man’s destiny to explore it. At one point, he kept a telescope in his pocket.”

Suprematism by Kazimir Malevich

This project comprises 30 pieces (18″x18″ each for exhibition) that play on Suprematist variations of Kazimir Malevich’s “Spring Garden in Blossom” (1904) after glitch treatment and magnification of the digital reproduction.

Suprematist Variations on Kazimir Malevich’s “Spring Garden in Blossom”

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These pixel configurations (“Pixelscapes”) rival works in Suprematism, Abstraction, Minimalism, Geometric, and Color Field art movements. They are brought to the forefront via this early work to celebrate Malevich’s latent and ultimate creativity which gave way to Suprematism with the display of “Black Square” and other works in 1915 as part of the Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings 0,10.

A “glitch” is a disruption in a system. Also, Glitch Art – the aestheticization of digital or analog errors – is a current, viable art form that includes workshops, lectures, performances, installations and screenings worldwide. (Wp)

“Spring Garden in Blossom” (1904):

spring_garden_in_blossom_1904

This project comprises 24 pieces (18″x18″ each for exhibition) that play on Suprematist variations of Kazimir Malevich’s “Three Women on the Road” (1900) after glitch treatment and magnification of the digital reproduction.

Suprematist Variations on Kazimir Malevich’s “Three Women on the Road” (1900)

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These pixel configurations (“Pixelscapes”) rival works in Suprematism, Abstraction, Minimalism, Geometric, and Color Field art movements. They are brought to the forefront via this early work to celebrate Malevich’s latent and ultimate creativity which gave way to Suprematism with the display of “Black Square” and other works in 1915 as part of the Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings 0,10.

A “glitch” is a disruption in a system. Also, Glitch Art – the aestheticization of digital or analog errors – is a current, viable art form that includes workshops, lectures, performances, installations and screenings worldwide. (Wp)

“Three Women on the Road” (1900):

The images from the “My Dear Malevich” project are video-glitched to provide a kinetic interpretation. Kazimir Malevich might have approved of this “tech/digital” approach (from static to kinetic) to create SENSATION. The static forms break into a multitude of “other” geometric forms (hybrids) via the video glitching; and these forms “move about” to create this dynamism.

https://vimeo.com/manage/folders/2089786

 

 

 

Digital reproductions of Kazimir Malevich‘s work are magnified to reveal pixel configurations that rival works in Suprematism, Abstraction, Minimalism, Geometric, and Color Field art movements. They are brought to the forefront via these early works to celebrate Malevich’s latent and ultimate creativity which gave way to Suprematism with the display of “Black Square” and other works in 1915 as part of the Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings 0,10. The perusal of these “pixelscapes” shows an occasional “Black Square”, “Red Square”, “White Square”, and “Black Cross” that Malevich created as iconic representations of his art movement. The overall geometry and color fields are in keeping with Suprematism.

“Prior to Black Square”

 

 

As it relates to the timeframe of the above works: 1900 – 1914:

According to kazimir-malevich.org:

Peasant art 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. 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 grop 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.

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 Cezanne 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.

This project is a video/installation piece re: the transformation of Kazimir Malevich’s “Black Square” to “Black Circle” via rotation or movement. The evolution from one geometric form to another – square to circle – via kinetics (movement) is in keeping with Malevich’s description of the artworks as “new icons for the aesthetics of modern art” within the art movement, Suprematism.

“Black Square Rotation Black Circle”

 

 


He created this Suprematist grammar based on fundamental geometric forms – in particular, the square and the circle. In the 0.10 Exhibition in 1915 (the Dobychina Art Bureau at Marsovo Pole, Petrograd [Saint Petersburg]), Malevich exhibited his “Black Square” and “Black Circle”. (Wp)

Keep your focus centered on “Black Square” to experience the conjuration of “Black Circle”.

This project is a video of kinetic forms within Kazimir Malevich’s “Black Square” zone. They are in keeping with some of his Suprematist forms that seem to float and simulate aerial views. Malevich states: “The square changes and creates new forms, the elements of which can be classified in one way or another depending upon the feeling which gave rise to them.”

“Black Square TransFORMations”

 

 

Exhibition:

“Black Square TransFORMations”, “Black Square Interpretations and Other Suprematist Explorations” (two-person show with Max Semakov), CaviArt Gallery, Russian Cultural Center, Houston, Texas, March 6 – April 7, 2015.

This project is a video/installation piece re: the Stalinist regime that turned against forms of abstraction, considering them a type of “bourgeois” art, that could not express social realities. Kazimir Malevich’s “Black Square” was considered such, and many of his works were confiscated. He was also banned from creating and exhibiting similar art. (Wp)

Critics of the regime spoke of Malevich and his art with contempt stating that his work was a negation of everything good and pure, love of life and love of nature. Malevich responded that art can advance and develop for art’s sake alone, saying, “art does not need us, and it never did,” thus the premise for this video/installation piece.

“Bourgeois Black Square”

 

 

This project is a video/installation piece that contrasts the Suprematist works of Kazimir Malevich with the Russian Revolution of 1917.

In 1915, Kazimir Malevich laid down the foundations of Suprematism when he published his manifesto, From Cubism to Suprematism. In 1915/1916 he worked with other Suprematist artists in a peasant/artisan co-operative in Skoptsi and Verbovka village. Malevich exhibited his first “Black Square” at the “Last Futurist Exhibition 0,10” in Petrograd (Saint Petersburg) in 1915. A black square placed against the sun appeared for the first time in the 1913 scenery designs for the Futurist opera, “Victory over the Sun”.

“Black Square Cross Revolution”

 

 

After the October Revolution (1917), Malevich became a member of the Collegium on the Arts of Narkompros, the Commission for the Protection of Monuments and the Museums Commission (all from 1918/1919). He taught at the Vitebsk Practical Art School in the USSR (now part of Belarus) (1919-1922), the Leningrad Academy of Arts (1922-1927), the Kiev State Art Institute (1927-1929), and the House of the Arts in Leningrad (1930).

He wrote the book, The World as Non-Objectivity, which was published in Munich in 1926 and translated into English in 1959. In it, he outlines his Suprematist theories.

In 1923, Malevich was appointed director of Petrograd State Institute of Artistic Culture. He painted his “Black Cross” the same year. The institute was forced to close in 1926 after a Communist party newspaper called it “a government-supported monastery” rife with “counterrevolutionary sermonizing and artistic debauchery.” The Soviet state was by then heavily promoting a politically sustainable style of art called Socialist Realism, a style Malevich had spent his entire career repudiating.

Malevich’s assumption that a shifting in the attitudes of the Soviet authorities toward the modernist art movement would take place after the death of Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky’s fall from power was proven correct in a couple of years, when the Stalinist regime turned against forms of abstraction, considering them a type of “bourgeois” art, that could not express social realities. As a consequence, many of his works were confiscated and he was banned from creating and exhibiting similar art.

Critics derided Malevich’s art as a negation of everything good and pure: love of life and love of nature. The Westernizer artist and art historian Alexandre Benois was one such critic. Malevich responded that art can advance and develop for art’s sake alone, saying, “art does not need us, and it never did”. (Wp)

This project is a continuation of Chambers’ experimentation with Kazimir Malevich’s “Black Square” and Suprematism. He merges photographs of Nature with “Black Square” to create a zone of Suprematism via the pixel(s). The merge results in a loss of color (variations of gray including achromatic grayscale shades, which lie between white and black colors). The project is in keeping with Malevich’s Suprematism – the feeling of non-objectivity – the creation of a sense of bliss and wonder via abstraction.

“Black Square Merge: Nature”

“Black Square Merge: Nature” becomes one of homage a second time – first, “My Dear Malevich” – by utilizing photographs of Nature to explore at the pixel level – transformation into aesthetic fields of “Pixelscapes” via the merge of Malevich’s “Black Square” – to rekindle his thoughts about creation. He states, “No phenomenon is mortal, and this means not only the body but the idea as well, a symbol that one is eternally reincarnated in another form which actually exists in the conscious and unconscious person.” 

In his book, The Non-Objective World, Malevich described the inspiration for his “Black Square”. He states, “I felt only night within me, and it was then that I conceived the new art, which I called Suprematism.” “Black Square Merge: Nature” represents this reincarnation that he talks about; and the loss of color of the pixels due to the merge of the color photograph with his “Black Square” conjures up his feelings of “night within me” and their consequent creation of the new art, Suprematism.

Review by JD Jarvis, Art Critic/Artist and coauthor of Going Digital: The Practice and Vision of Digital Artists (ISBN 1-59200-918-2) (USA):

“Well over a decade ago, Tom R. Chambers began to look at the pixel within the context of Abstraction and Minimalism:

The Pixel As Minimalist Art

His work in this vein draws our attention to the visual singularity that makes up everything we see in the digital universe. Since the pixel equates to what we call a ‘subatomic particle’ within our physical universe, Chambers’ work engages us directly with the feeling that the Russian Suprematist described as the non-objective spirit that pervades everything and pays due homage their belief in the ability of Abstraction to convey ‘the supremacy of pure feeling in creative art’. Indeed, an earlier edition within this long series of work explored the visual meaning behind the works and words of Suprematist painter and theorist Kazimir Malevich:

My Dear Malevich

In this latest edition of images and prints Chambers seeks to metaphorically merge inner and outer worlds by presenting photorealistic nature as it transitions into digital abstraction at the pixel level. ‘Black Square Merge: Nature’ is precisely what it says it is. We see, almost in cinematic form the movement from a picture of reality to a picture of pure abstraction. What this viewer finds most interesting is that area of transition between these absolutes. It satisfies me that in this grey area where nature begins to break down and abstraction appears to be taking hold that we find the greatest latitude and possibility for creative energy.

I was overcome, at first, by the sheer number of images in this edition, but when I saw on my computer screen a thumbnail of a large number of these works gathered on a single page I realized that each image is like a jewel and that the effect will be quite wonderful when the physical prints of these images are finally displayed back in the realm of physical reality. In such a display we will find ourselves inside that journey that Malevich described and which Tom R. Chambers so elegantly materializes.”

Exhibition:

“Black Square Merge: Nature”, “Black Square Interpretations and Other Suprematist Explorations” (two-person show with Max Semakov), CaviArt Gallery, Russian Cultural Center, Houston, Texas, March 6 – April 7, 2015.

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