Suprematist Composition with Plane in Projection by Kazimir Malevich

We find here one of the simpler variants from the Suprematist period of Kazimir Malevich. The Russian painter would sketch out his ideas first on paper before then working with oils, often making use of very limited palettes of colour.

This painting, Suprematist Composition with Plane in Projection, was entered into a high profile auction back in 2017 at Sotheby’s in New York, USA. At the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale it would reach an excellent price of $21,162,500. This was signficantly higher than the pre-sale estimate and marks it out as one of the most expensive purchases of this artist’s work in history. This item features only three shapes, perhaps underlining why modern art does come in for criticism for those who do not understand the full history of art. Those that do, understand how this was original work in the early 20th century and that the artist would have to challenge many norms in order to gain acceptance for his work. He remains highly sought after whenever any of his work comes up for sale.

Malevich challenged Russian perceptions about art, and the styles that could be used. Social Realism dominated the careers of most famous Russian artists and was be produced at an impressive level that pricked the interest of the international audience, which it continues to do today. This artist respected it too, but wanted to take the same themes on from an alternative style and this is what would produce so much controversy and led to him fearing for his safety at some points in his lifetime. Much depended on the changing political climate which was decidely turbulent in Russia throughout his career, forcing him to eventually leave some of his work abroad in order to keep it safe from disapproving authorities. Today it thankfully enjoys full respect within Russia and there is a much more varied taste across both the public and by academics alike. His concentration on the poor may also have gained favour with some as well, with elements of patriotism to be found here.

Bottle of Beaune and a Fruit Dish, Bottle and Bottles and Knife were some of the best work from a related artist known as Juan Gris. He worked with great passion for modern art and would dedicate much of his career to the groundbreaking Cubist movement. Despite being a huge distance from Malevich, they were both able to leave a similar impact in terms of modern art and abstract art, more specifically. He enjoyed working with still life depictions, and much of his oeuvre was devoted to that genre, as opposed to Malevich’s love for figurative work in the rural communities. He remains regarded as one of the most important members of the Cubist movement and helped to bring it success as popularity in these new ideas began to grow in Western Europe. He also left behind a large number of study drawings which revealed much about his working practises as well as the ways in which he was thinking about these different interpretations of reality.

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