Suprematism: Reproduction of Kazimir Malevich

Made by Sarah Bien

Research and reproduce one of Kazimir Malevich's works in some digital form.

Created: September 27th, 2015



I decided to analyze Kazimir Malevich’s work and particularly in his pivotal pieces devoted to suprematism. Suprematism is a resolute form of art typically composed of geometric shapes and a focused range of colors. I was first captivated by this form when I found Malevich’s piece Black Square and White on White. Initially, my reaction was confusion. I questioned why were some of Malevich’s most famous and critical pieces just a black square or a white square on a mildly yellow canvas? However, as I was exclaiming this thought to a friend, she showed me the below video that changed my thinking. 

I Could Do That | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios
The Art Assignment -


With this video, I realized I was associating “good art” with “technically difficult art”. I decided to look into the history and context of the pieces Black Square and White on White, and I found Malevich’s thoughts and pursuit with his art to be quite profound. With Black Square, Malevich was attempting to display a world of non objectivity and liberation. In White on White, Malevich brought about a feeling of floating and movement in the infiniteness of white. I continued to look further in his art until I found a piece he made for Suprematist in 1916-1917. 



I felt this work in particular was exploring in a new range of shapes and feeling. In particular, I noticed that the black ellipse with a tail was particularly new and distinct. It was different from all the rectangles, lines, and circles that Malevich had used before. In particular, the use of black brought out the shape’s prominence and meaning. There was a feeling of movement and approach in the chaos of shapes and colors that I wanted to bring out in my own work.



I decided I wanted to explore the idea of manipulating multiple versions of this same shape: ellipse with a tail. My secondary goal was also to bring out a notion of movement and return. I also wanted to maintain the many shapes such as the pale pink circle and the rectangles and lines in my work. I decided that since the pink circle in Malevich’s work was the only circle and the largest shape, it should be considered as the “home” or the point of return. I then begin adding the same ellipse and tail shape with small adjustments to size and angle. Like Malevich's reserved use of dark versus light colors, I decided to make only one ellipse and tail shape black while the others were white. I wanted to bring out the same feeling of floating and movement with white, but also maintain the sense of urgency and dark emotions with black. 

Once I decided on certain shapes, I began to add them in photoshop and being very particular about the orientation and position of each shape. Finally, I decided in the spirit of Malevich’s Suprematist work in 1916-1917, I wanted to added my own new shape. I decided to put down a blotchy orange shape over the pink circle and took it as the final touch.



I learned that with Malevich’s work, and along with many other abstract artists, I could not judge it just by it’s technical execution. I had to take a deeper look at it’s context and the artist’s goals with his piece. By trying to replicating Malevich’s style, I understood that each shape and color had it’s purpose and meaning to bring out the suprematism language. I think if I could do this again, I would want to bring out a “oil on canvas” style of art to simulate Malevich’s famous oil paintings.

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Research and reproduce one of Kazimir Malevich's works in some digital form.