A Week of Orgisms


Kazimir Malevich self-portrait. BBC.com and Getty Images.

I’ve recently seen mention of cubism, orphism, synchromism, and now suprematism. This last is what Kazimir Malevich called his movement. Art history is a geyser of isms. This article illustrates the masterpiece-or-fake-ism that sprinkles journalism.

Internationally [Malevich] is probably most famous for Black Square – a work that epitomises his love of abstract forms, in a radical break from figurative art rooted in recognisable reality. Malevich finally created four versions of Black Square.

(Tatsiana Yanutsevich, “Kazimir Malevich: A mystery painting, either masterpiece or fake, puzzles experts,” BBC News, Belarus, 2 days ago [sic])

black square

“Black Square” by Malevich. BBC.com and Getty Images.

Yanutsevich informs us that “Malevich is one of the most popular modern artists internationally, his works are cherished by galleries and they fetch eye-watering sums at auctions.”

That Malevich created four versions of “Black Square” is itself eye-watering.

Here, eclipsed by viewers, is the mystery painting at the center of the “puzzle.”

man with shovel

BBC/TATSIANA YANUTSEVICH. Man with a Shovel went on show in a gallery in the Belarus capital Minsk in June.

Why is the unsigned painting attributed to Malevich? And why should it be presumed to be a “fake” trying to pass as a Malevich if it were determined not to be his? These are the true mysteries.

(c) 2019 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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