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Kazimir Malevich
Self-Portrait (1908 or 1910-1911).jpg
Self-Portrait, 1912
The strong colours suggest the
influence of Matisse and Fauvism.
Kiev Governorate of Russian Empire
Nationality Russian Empire, Soviet Union
Education Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture
Known for Painting
Notable work
Black Square, 1915; White on White, 1919
Movement Suprematism

Kazimir Severinovich Malevich (February 23, 1878May 15, 1935) was a painter and art theoretician, pioneer of geometric abstract art and one of the most important members of the Russian avant-garde.

Malevich was born in Kiev, Ukraine, under the Russian Empire. He was Ukrainian of a Polish descent. He studied at the Kiev School of Art (18951896), the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture (19041910) and in the studio of Fedor Rerberg in Moscow (19041910).

After early experiments with various modernist styles including Cubism and Futurism in Petrograd, he introduced his abstract, non-objective geometric patterns in a style and artistic movement he called Suprematism; famous examples include Black Square (1915) and White on White 1918.

Malevich was a member of the Collegium on the Arts of Narkompros, the commission for the protection of monuments and the museums commission; later on, he taught at the Vitebsk Practical Art School in Russia, the Leningrad Academy of Arts, the Kiev State Art Institute and the House of the Arts in Leningrad. He wrote the book The World as Non-Objectivity on his theories.

When the Stalinist regime turned against modernist "bourgeois" art, Malevich was persecuted. Many of his works were confiscated or destroyed, and he died in poverty and oblivion in Leningrad, Soviet Union (today Saint Petersburg, Russia).

On 3 November 2008 a work by Malevich entitled Suprematist Composition from 1916 set the world record for any Russian work of art and any work sold at auction for that year. It sold at Sotheby’s in New York City for just over $60 million U.S. (far surpassing his previous record of $17 million set in 2000).

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