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Malevich and Khlebnikov: Suprematism Reinterpreted

To man’s actual existence there belongs a surrounding world, just as the statues of a god have a temple. This is the reason why we must mention the manifold threads which link the ideal (or the beauty of art) to externality and are drawn through it. . . .

—G.F. Hegel, Lectures on Fine Art

IN JUNE 1915, FOR THE occasion of the last Futurist exhibition in St. Petersburg, Kasimir Malevich published a treatise entitled From Cubism and Futurism to Suprematism: The New Pictorial Realism, which asserted that “. . . all painting past and present before Suprematism was reduced to servitude to the forms of nature and is looking forward to its liberation in order to speak its proper language. . .” Later, in the Non-Objective World (1928) Malevich wrote: “Art no longer cares to serve the state and religion. It no longer wishes to illustrate the history of manners. It wants to have nothing further to

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