This project is a continuation of Chambers’ experimentation with Kazimir Malevich’s “Black Square” and Suprematism. He merges photographs of nature with the “Black Square” to create a zone of Suprematism via the pixel(s). The merge results in a loss of color (variations of gray including achromatic grayscale shades, which lie between white and black colors). The project is in keeping with Malevich’s Suprematism – the feeling of non-objectivity – the creation of a sense of bliss and wonder via abstraction.
Click on the link to view the BSMN pieces:
Malevich founded the art movement, Suprematism in Moscow, 1913 as a parallel to Constructivism. Suprematism [“supremacy of forms”] is a study in abstraction conceived in itself – non-objective and not related to anything except geometric shapes and colors – and a precursor to Minimalism. Malevich states, “Under Suprematism I understand the supremacy of pure feeling in creative art. To the Suprematist the visual phenomena of the objective world are, in themselves, meaningless; the significant thing is feeling, as such, quite apart from the environment in which it is called forth. I took refuge in the square form and exhibited a picture which consisted of nothing more than a black square on a white field. It is filled with the spirit of nonobjective sensation which pervades everything. This is no empty square, but rather the feeling of non-objectivity.”
The premise behind “Malevich Merge: Nature” becomes one of homage a second time – first, “My Dear Malevich” – by utilizing photographs of nature to explore at the pixel level – transformation into aesthetic fields of “Pixelscapes” via the merge of Malevich’s “Black Square” – to rekindle his thoughts about creation. He states, “No phenomenon is mortal, and this means not only the body but the idea as well, a symbol that one is eternally reincarnated in another form which actually exists in the conscious and unconscious person.” In his book, The Non-Objective World, Malevich described the inspiration for his “Black Square”. He states, “I felt only night within me, and it was then that I conceived the new art, which I called Suprematism.” “Malevich Merge: Nature” represents this reincarnation that he talks about; and the loss of color of the pixels due to the merge of the color photograph with his “Black Square” conjures up his feelings of “night within me” and their consequent creation of the new art, Suprematism.
Review by JD Jarvis, Art Critic/Artist and coauthor of “Going Digital: The Practice and Vision of Digital Artists” (ISBN 1-59200-918-2) [USA]:
“Well over a decade ago, Tom R. Chambers began to look at the pixel within the context of Abstraction and Minimalism:
His work in this vein draws our attention to the visual singularity that makes up everything we see in the digital universe. Since the pixel equates to what we call a ‘subatomic particle’ within our physical universe, Chambers’ work engages us directly with the feeling that the Russian Suprematist described as the non-objective spirit that pervades everything and pays due homage their belief in the ability of Abstraction to convey ‘the supremacy of pure feeling in creative art’. Indeed, an earlier edition within this long series of work explored the visual meaning behind the works and words of Suprematist painter and theorist Kazimir Malevich:
In this latest edition of images and prints Chambers seeks to metaphorically merge inner and outer worlds by presenting photorealistic nature as it transitions into digital abstraction at the pixel level. ‘Malevich Merge: Nature’ is precisely what it says it is. We see, almost in cinematic form the movement from a picture of reality to a picture of pure abstraction. What this viewer finds most interesting is that area of transition between these absolutes. It satisfies me that in this grey area where nature begins to break down and abstraction appears to be taking hold that we find the greatest latitude and possibility for creative energy.
I was overcome, at first, by the sheer number of images in this edition, but when I saw on my computer screen a thumbnail of a large number of these works gathered on a single page I realized that each image is like a jewel and that the effect will be quite wonderful when the physical prints of these images are finally displayed back in the realm of physical reality. In such a display we will find ourselves inside that journey that Malevich described and which Tom R. Chambers so elegantly materializes.”
A few examples follow: