New Understanding of the Old Question


"The traditional dimensions of art pieces (height, width and depth) were enriched by Futurismus with the forth one – time. Malevich’s contribution is the discovery of a new dimension – the dimension of the economy. He understands it as fundamental energy, that manifests itself in utilitarian things as well as in aesthetic and structurally 'independent' new shapes of fine art forms, objects, surfaces and lines. The essence of this fifth dimension is in the geometrical elementarization of building components to simple shapes."* 

Next year will be a hundred years since the exhibition where Kazimir Malevich first presented his painting The Black Square (1913) and soon published the book The non-objective world. The exhibition of the Black Square generally dates back to the emergence of the artistic movement Suprematism, which is based on Cubism and can be one of the other geometrically abstract tendencies emerging in various places independently (Vasil Kandinsky, František Kupka) as a negative definition of Impressionism. If we try to summarize Malevich's idea in the simplest possible form, we get something like this: Color and form should prevail over the depicted reality, but rational construction should never prevail over pure feelings. (Suprematia (lat.) - domination, dominance) Malevich was the first painter to take this really seriously with absolute painting without the relations and reminiscences in question. He gave birth to a new artistic realism and discovered the power of empty space. These revolutionary ideas have become an inspiration to many generations of artists (Clyfford Still, Yves Klein, Robert Ryman; apart from a painting by Alexander Calder, Naum Gabo and even Frank Lloyd Wright). But Malevich was not satisfied with a purely formal turn. Malevich balanced on the edge of emotion and science. He sought the path to infinity, the absolute and the transcendent. The means was the purity of shape and colour. Pure, vibrant colour as the basic substance of the universe.

What was to happen happened. Malevich's inspirational ideas, stimulated by the rapid development of science and technology of the first decades of the 20th century, have lost their transcendentality on the timeline of art history. The supremacy of emotion that controls the supremacy of form over the non-objective painting, only the domination of form remains. However, as the art world absolutely emptied this resource, the technological world seized it from a different angle.

Radically, mechanically it breaks each offered image into the most basic form (square) of pure colour and then folds the shapes back into the image. The eye does not see things, but images of things that mean other things. ** What would Malevich say to the fact that most images of reality today consist of squares? The visions were fulfilled absolutely – colour and form – basic imaginary means, are prevailing over the depicted vision of the world. The colour and form have been enslaved and serve as resources of displaying the visible.

The digital world has brought about a merger. Fusion and rotation of Malevich's ideas. Malevich is a square. Few people know Malevich by a face, but everyone knows him by square. Give the painter a one-word puzzle: "Square?" She/he answers immediately, "Malevich." Type in the internet finder Malevich. You get thousands of images of different quality and different colours. The paradox is that the fundamental shapes shown are broken down into an infinite number of other elements of pure colour. I want to atone for this unfairness by hand on canvas. Ornamental tiles adapt to the idea of ​​purity, although the interweaving is still known. It cannot be hidden. Similarly, black glass shows signs of defect, fusion cannot be stopped. The real world absorbs the world of pure form and the real world is destroyed by the digital one.


* Kazimir MALEVICH, The non-objective world

** Italo CALVINO, Invisible Cities

Text by mfc

Solo exhibition Síň Gallery, Telč, Czech Republic 2014

Photo mfc

  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon

 © 2020 by Marta Cwiklinski Fišerová. Created with