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SUPREMATISM AND ARCHITECTURE

June 20, 2008 IRINA MAK

Selim Khan-Magomedov, Suprematism and Architecture M., Architecture-S, Russian Avantgarde Foundation, Publishers, 2007. -- 520 p.

"They have finished suprematism off with a scandal. Malevich suddenly went crazy, and all of us have quarreled," this was what artist Nadezhda Udaltsova wrote in her diary on November 22, 1917. The quote is included in the last of the three volumes on the history of the Russian Avant-garde ­ this one is about suprematists. Kazimir Malevich is represented there starting with his early "primitivistic" period (1911--1912), through his "pure" non-figurative peiod of "squares" and "crosses" (1915--1919) and up to his reversion to the peasant themes and his abandonment of the non-figurative style (the 1920's). But, apart from Malevich, included in the book are Lisitsky, Suetin, Chashnik, Khidekel, Chervinka, Rozanova, Udaltsova as well. One can look at drawings, canvases, posters, book covers, architectural models and sketches remaining forever on paper only, but surely affecting the 20th century architecture. And however fine and important the text in the book proves to be, the illustrations still constitute its main value.

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