1913 - 1928


Until this point, art movements consistently moved in a flowing path forward. No movement was thought of as the end of the line. Then came a passionate Russian named Kazimir Malevich and his search for art in its most pure form. Something superior to all art, past and future. Something that would lead to “supremacy of pure feeling or perception in the pictorial arts.” Suprematism was born.

Malevich sought the “zero degree”, or the point art could go before it ceased to be art. Where other artists wanted to expand our perceptions of what art is, Suprematists wanted to define the boundaries. A movement in search of art in its most basic form predictably favored simple motifs, including squares, circles, and crosses. They also favored primary, or pure, colors along with flat applications of paint, showing little if any brushstrokes. The overall effect was both austere and abstract.

Although Supremacy was a rather narrow movement, basically invented by one artist with a few Russian followers, it proved highly influential to future movements, including Constructivism, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism and Conceptual Art.