DETAIL : COLOGNE SCHOOL Germany Virgin and Child with Saints [Triptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints (left panel) Virgin and Child with Saints (left panel)]
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Kasimir MALEVICH | Stroyuschiysya dom [House under construction]
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Ukraine 1878 – Russia 1935
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Stroyuschiysya dom
[House under construction]
oil on canvas
97.0 (h) x 44.5 (w) cm
box frame 134.2 (h) x 81.5 (w) x 8 (d) cm
titled, signed and dated verso in Cyrillic lettering, pencil, "Stroyuschiysya dom/ K Malevich/ 1914 god [year]"
Purchased 1974
NGA 1974.383
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Kasimir Malevich was born on 26 February 1878, just outside Kiev, Russia. He studied in Kiev (1895-96) before moving to Moscow in 1905-06, where he attended the Moscow Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in 1907-08. He exhibited works with the Moscow Association of Artists in 1907. After meeting Natalia Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov, Malevich began to introduce folk imagery and a primitive style to his work. He contributed to the first 'Bubnovyi Valet' (Jack of Diamonds) exhibition in 1910,and to the 'Mishen' (Target) exhibition in 1913. He was also associated with the 'Soiuz Molodezhi' (Union of Youth) group and contributed to their exhibitions from 1911 to 1914. In 1913 he designed the sets and costumes for the opera Pobeda nad Solnstem (Victory over the sun) by Alexei Kruchenykh and Mikhail Matiushin. He met the Italian Futurist leader Philippo Marinetti in 1914 and exhibited works in the Salon des Indépendants, Paris, that year. At this stage his work was a synthesis of the two most progressive movements, Cubism and Futurism. However, he made a complete break with these influences at the end of 1915 when he showed his first Suprematist paintings at the 'Poslednaya futuristicheskaya vystavka '0, 10' (The Last Futurist Exhibition: 0, 10), held in St Petersburg, and published Ot kubizma I futurizma k suprematizmu. Novyi zhivopishnyi realizm (From Cubism and Futurism to Suprematism. The New Painterly Realism). In 1920 Malevich was appointed director of the Vitebsk Art Institute, where he organised the Unovis group which included El Lissitsky, Ilya Chashnik and Nikolai Suetin. A retrospective of his work was held in Moscow in 1919-20, and he contributed work to the 'Erste russische Kunstausstellung' (First Russian Art Exhibition) held at Galerie van Dieman in Berlin in 1922. Around this time Malevich also began working on architectural models and designs for fabric and porcelain. In 1927 he travelled to Warsaw and Berlin, where solo exhibitions of his work were shown. By then he had returned to figurative painting. A retrospective exhibition of his work was shown at the Tretiakov Gallery, Moscow, and the Kiev Institute of Art in 1929. Malevich died in Leningrad on 16 May 1935.

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