The black square on white was created by Malevich in 1915, two years before the revolution. This seminal piece of the suprematism provides a self-consistent existence to the painted surface devoid of any other meaning.
The October Revolution brings a short lived impression of freedom to the artistic avant-garde. In 1918 Malevich goes further in his process with his white square on white.
Meanwhile Rodchenko endeavors to define a socialist art that must result in practical achievements. His constructivism, based on the predominance of the line, offers the geometric structures on which architectures, furnishings or lamps can be built.
Rodchenko supports his theories with oils on canvas, meticulously realized with the ruler and compass to avoid any trembling of the hand. The principal figures are divergent bundles of lines which are superimposed over grids without however their position responding to any logic of a space arrangement.
On November 29 in London, Sotheby's sells Construction No. 95, 65 x 40 cm, painted in 1919, lot 10 estimated £ 2.5M. The work was titled 'on scarlet' by the artist by reference to its reddish-orange background. This color is not the bright red of the Revolution. It is the symbol of a call to activity according to the theories of the colors by Kandinsky, of whom Rodchenko is very close at that time.
In 1921 the ultimate culmination of the constructivist approach was a series of monochrome paintings in pure colors by Rodchenko. Abstract art began to be considered as a bourgeois threat. The artist then abandoned painting and developed a new career as a socialist decorator, illustrator and photographer.
SOLD for £ 3.65M including premium