Reproduce- Kazimir Malevich

Made by Jeffrey Bradley

Analyze the work of an artist and recreate one of their works in a digital medium in no more than one hour.

Created: September 27th, 2015

Black Square
Black square.thumb Kazimir Malevich


Kazimir Malevich was born to a Polish family in the Russian Empire in 1878. His peasant lifestyle gave him little access to professional artists during his childhood, but he still produced what he could through embroidery. He later studied art in Kiev, where he adopted the cubo-futurist style of his fellow avant garde artists. Malevich would later move on to create his own style which he called Suprematism. Suprematism embodied Malevich's belief that artistic feeling should transcend the accurate depiction of objects in terms of importance. Suprematistic works depicted simple geometric shapes and lines using few colors. For example, take one of his most famous works above, the Black Square. Keeping with the revolutionary attitude in Russia in his day, he use Black Square to oppose the works of the past and to support what he considered to be the new age of artistic expression.

Suprematist Composition
Suprematist composition.thumb Kazimir Malevich


I found the above work, aptly named Suprematist Composition, to be representative of Malevich's Suprematist works. It's solid colors and flat lines give little room for interpretation. He barely afforded himself any slightly offset straight lines, let alone curves or shading. However, this may have been his intention. In the time of the Russian revolution, the ideas of the past were being thrown away at all times. In response, Malevich created a work that could have no historical content or political agenda. It could not be thrown out with the obsolete past because it did not represent a time. 



I fail to see any meaning in this piece. It is a series of simple shapes that make no recognizable pattern. It would be impossible to further analyze this work without historical context, but even then I find that it was meant to carry no meaning. I am thoroughly surprised that someone had paid 60 million dollars for it in an auction, seeing as anyone with a steady hand could paint shapes on a canvas. 



Given the constraint of one hour, I created the above duplicate of Malevich's Suprematist Composition using Inkscape's rectangle tool. 



Creating a product like this is easy with the tools I have access to today. In Malevich's time, it was likely a great effort to accomplish straight lines with paint. I can respect his efforts in that regard. However, I still feel this sort of abstract image has little worth. It was nothing more than a display of precision in the past and it signifies even less today when we have access to technology. 

Since the theme of the original work appears to be a lack thereof, I believe my duplicate keeps that theme intact. 

If I wanted to more accurately copy his work, I'd probably mark down the color and angle of each component instead of estimating it. Likewise, altering the background color and adding textures to the shapes would have given the duplicate a more genuine look. 

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Analyze the work of an artist and recreate one of their works in a digital medium in no more than one hour.