Tom Chambers's profile
Red Sweep Black Square
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])

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])

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.

Exhibitions:

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).

Note: this exhibition is in conjunction with the "100 Years of Suprematism" conference, Shapiro Center, Columbia University, New York City, December 11 - 12, 2015. It is organized in celebration of the centenary of Kazimir Malevich’s invention of Suprematism and the first public display of his Suprematist paintings in December, 1915. The two-day conference is organized in association with the Harriman Institute, the Lazar Khidekel Society, and SHERA. It features presentations by an international and renowned group of scholars. Among them are leading researchers in the field from the United States, Russia, and the United Kingdom. The event includes a presentation of "Kazimir Malevich: Letters and Documents, Memoirs and Criticism" (London: Tate, 2015) (pdf) (http://tomrchambers.com/Malevich Society.htm).

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.


Red Sweep Black Square
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Red Sweep Black Square

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