Text pages from "On New Systems in Art"
Kazimir Severinovich Malevich ( Russian, 1878 - 1935 )
El Lissitzky ( Russian, 1890 - 1941 )
These pages are taken from Kazimir Malevich’s On New Systems in Art: Statics and Speed, a collection of his writings published in Vitebsk (in present-day Belarus) in 1919. This two-page spread reveals the book’s multiple functions: theoretical treatise, illustrated textbook, commentary on the progression of modern European painting from Impressionism to Futurism, and work of art. Familiar motifs of solid black squares and rectangles found in Malevich’s Suprematist paintings are scattered throughout the text. An image of his famous Black Square (1915) sits above the text on the left and behaves as a traditional illustration within a frame. On the right, smaller filled and outlined black rectangles are placed within the text like the decorative flourishes in medieval manuscripts. The book was hand printed by fellow Russian avant-garde artist El Lissitzky.
Nicole Myers, DMA label copy, 2018.