Sunday, January 22, 2017

Malevich as Socialist Realist

Peasant Farmers & other Rural Workers 
oil on canvas
Kazimir Malevich (1878 - 1935)

Forced to paint representational work in the mid twenties, Malevich produced these heroic images of rural peasants.  All the methods of composition and paint application that he developed to produce his monumental Surematist abstractions were employed in the production of the sort of work he formerly opposed.  He somehow found a way into it that did not completely compromise his ideals.  Of course he also secretly carried on his pure abstraction, often dating the work some ten to twenty years earlier.  This is a good instance of how a great artist was able to survive and even flourish under a politically hostile and reactionary situation.

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