Malevich developed a new grammar reduced to three basic filled shapes, simple enough to escape a semiotic interpretation : rectangle, oval and cross. The perfect rectangle and oval are the square and the circle.
The black square on white is the seminal flagship and the masterpiece of Suprematism. Centered on a canvas where it fills most of the available surface, the square becomes a flying artefact independently from its supporting fabric and generates a mesmerizing feeling. Faced with such a spatial illusion, we are tempted to reduce the famous white square on white from 1918 down to no more than an additional experiment.
In the early phase, other works by Malevich still make concessions to competing movements. His cohorts of stripes more or less parallel in various colors seek to express the movement as in the Futurism in an assembly which appears hand made as in the Synthetic Cubism or in the Constructivism.
On November 5 in New York, Sotheby's sells Mystic Suprematism, oil on canvas 100 x 59 cm painted between 1920 and 1922, lot 8 estimated $ 35M.
A black cross is flying in front of a deep red oval. The pole of the cross and the oval are coaxial. The pole is a quadrangle that slightly tapers downward, bringing an effect of forward tilting. The additional small black line that runs across the lower part of the pole is used for balancing, allowing the viewer to decide if that indefinable abstract object is or not about to fall.
Suprematism is already announcing the major trends of abstract art of the second half of its century, which will use the expressive role of the colors. It is unfortunate that Malevich did not experience the importance of large size. To go further than Suprematism, wait for Rothko.
SOLD for $ 38M including premium