Red Sweep Black Square

This project is a video/installation piece re: Kazimir Malevich’s “Black Square” and “Red Square”, both exhibited in 1915. They approximate being one and the same, but Malevich considered his “Black Square” to be the true icon – its zero form – for Suprematism. In Malevich’s system, the movement from black-and-white Suprematism to colored and finally to white Suprematism was indicated by three squares: a black, a red, and a white one. (Vitebsk, Aleksandra Shatskikh, 2007 [1917-1922])

Click on the link to view video:

The first time Malevich exhibited his “Red Square”, in 1915, it was subtitled “Pictorial Realism of a Peasant in Two Dimensions”. During the Vitebsk years, the representation of the “Red Square” was politicized. Lazar Lissitzky had a hand in this Bolshevization of the Suprematist figure. He turned the “Red Square” into the Unovis seal. However, Malevich and all the other Suprematist-Unovis members deemed the “Black Square” to be the true symbol of Unovis. (Vitebsk, Aleksandra Shatskikh, 2007 [1917-1922])

In the video, the sweeping of the color red acknowledges “Red Square” as a Suprematist figure, but there is always a return to the true icon, “Black Square” for Suprematism.

Stills from the video:

Red Sweep Black Square

Red Sweep Black Square (Black Square Interpretations), Suprematism Infinity: Reflections, Interpretations, Explorations (group show), Atrium Gallery, Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York City, New York, U.S.A., December 1, 2015 – January 22, 2016 (pdf). Click on SIRIE to view photographs (by Cho Eun-mi) of the opening. Note: this work was donated to the Russian American Cultural Center (RACC) Art Collection, New York City (letter).

Red Sweep Black Square, Black Square Interpretations and Other Suprematist Explorations (two-person show with Max Semakov), CaviArt Gallery, Russian Cultural Center, Houston, Texas, March 6 – April 7, 2015 (Much of the work above – along with the work of Max Semakov – Tom R. Chambers and Max Semakov/MiMs Art Group come together to pay tribute to Kazimir Malevich through a series of artworks that interpret his “Black Square”, and explore Suprematism. Chambers is based in Houston, Texas, and Semakov is based in Moscow, Russia, which moves this collaboration to a higher plane of exchange between the citizenry of two countries – America and Russia. Chambers and Semakov through their interpretations and explorations move Suprematism in the direction of Neo-Suprematism. Their artworks accentuate and cultivate non-objectivity – the supremacy of pure feeling in creative art. Click on BSIOSE to view photographs (by Cho Eun-mi) of the opening.

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