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Malevich’s abstract paintings belong to the intense period of artistic experimentation that coincided with the 1917 Revolution in Russia. He abandoned representative images in favour of what he called Suprematism in 1915. In these works he used severely reduced geometrical forms – most famously a black square on a white canvas – whose meditative quality served as secular equivalents to Russian icons. He soon moved towards greater energy in paintings such as Dynamic Suprematism in which forms pull and push without relying on any reference to the physical world.

April 2009