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The Supremus Laboratory House

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"The Supremus "Laboratory House": Reconstructing the Journal"

From Kazimir Malevich: Suprematism
Nina Gurianova
Published in 2003
16 pages, fully illustrated

Nina Gurianova delves into the development of Malevich's Supremus, a journal devoted to the philosophy behind Suprematism. Exploring the numerous iterations of the journal, as well as the struggles to both construct and publish the first few installments, Gurianova presents the evolution of Malevich's inspiration for a "laboratory-house."

Excerpt

The social and political situation in the spring of 1917, when the first issue of Supremus was being put together after the initial delay, could not but affect Malevich's ideological strategy and the program of his journal. The events of the First Russian Revolution in February 1917, followed by the October Revolution later that year, had a complex and paradoxical impact on the social, philosophical, and aesthetic ideas of the avant-garde, and this was reflected in Supremus.

... Under these circumstances, Malevich was the first to realize that the publication of an art journal, strictly controlled by one group, was not only an ideological but a strategic necessity. He conceived his journal as an attempt to create a social context for his art, to establish a basis for the new movement—in fact, as he wrote, "to form [his] own environment." According to Malevich's vision, Supremus, apart from being a vehicle for his own artistic ambitions and assuring his leading role in the art world, was to become an original forum for experiment and discussion, something between a virtual laboratory and a fortress (he referred to his journal as a laboratory-house [dom-laboratoria]) for the new philosophy and theory of nonobjective art.

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