«The representation of an object in itself (the objectivity as the aim of expression), is something that has nothing to do with art, although the use of representation in a work of art does not rule out the possibility of being of a high artistic order. For the suprematist, therefore, the proper means is the one that provides the fullest expression of pure feeling and ignores the habitually accepted object. The object in itself is meaningless to him; and the idea of the conscious mind is worthless. Feeling is the decisive factor...and thus art arrives at non-objective representation — at suprematism.»
Kasimir Malevich
Kasimir Malevich (1878-1935), one of the daring pioneers of the twentieth-century art, founded a new movement which he called Suprematism. Malevich had clear insight and a logical mind, and he went straight to the point which other artists reached by cautious evolution. Basing himself on current aesthetic theories, he asserted that the reality in art was the sensational effect of colour itself. As an illustration he exhibited, already in 1915, a picture of a black square on a white ground, and claimed that the feeling this contrast evoked was the basis of all art.
Kasimir Malevich was born 120 years ago in Kyiv. His childhood and youth were spent in Ukraine. His parents and he moved from place to place, living for stretches of time in villages and small towns of the areas of Podillya, Chernihyvshchina and Kharkivshchina. It was during his life in the countryside that he developed an interest towards peasants’ ornamental art.
In 1896 Malevich went to study at Mykola Murashko School of Painting where he was trained by Mykola Pymonenko who was a painter of the naturalistic line. Early in the 20th century Malevich found himself in Moscow and in his artistic development went successively through the stages of Impressionism, Symbolism, Primitivism and Cubism. A new trend in art of Geometric Abstractionism which he founded and called Suprematism was to exercise a profound influence upon painting, architecture and design of the 20th century. In a certain way Suprematism and Ukrainian folk ornamental and decorative painting have something in common — non-representational composition, elementary shapes, bright primal colours, cosmic symbolism. Later Malevich worked in art schools of Moscow, Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) and Vitebsk.

Black Cross on Red Oval.
At the end of the twenties he returned to Ukraine and taught art at Kyiv Art Institute, published articles in Kyiv magazines on theory of art, created designs for a small embroidery co-operative in the village of Verbivka (in the vicinity of Kyiv). His series of paintings and drawings Peasant between a Cross and a Sword, created in 1932-1933, echoed the horrors of forced collectivisation of Ukrainian farmers and wide-spread famine of the early thirties that took a very heavy toll in human lives.
Ethnically Malevich was of Polish descent but spiritually he was Ukrainian. He insisted he was Ukrainian, and derived his artistic inspiration from many sources, Ukrainian in particular.

Dmytro HORBACHOV, art critik