Malevich

2014-9-3

Kazimir Malevich's argument for his artistic movement, Suprematism, was that 'The artist can be a creator only when the forms in his picture have nothing in common with nature.' He found a solution in abstract geometrics, which he applied not only to his artwork, but also to a series of domestic objects.

But can a man really stand outside of nature? In what sense is a Black Square unnatural? In the sense that the obelisk in 2001: A Space Odyssey appears unnatural (and indeed the patrons crowding around the Square bare more than a passing resemblance to Kubrick's apes). But while the obelisk appears from nowhere, unwrought by human hand, Black Square most certainly comes from Malevich and is noticeably handmade. Furthermore when we look at Malevich's teapot, isn't nature already there in full-force, insisting that it take a certain shape in order to hold and pour hot water? The teapot may hold water but the concept does not.

Malevich is at the Tate Modern until the 26th of October 2014.


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