BLACK SQUARE SPACE
Tom R. Chambers utilzes images of the Universe (courtesy of HubbleSite [http://hubblesite.org]) in combination with Kazimir Malevich's "Black Square" to confirm his (Malevich) interest in Astronomy and connection of his Suprematist work with the Universe. The "Space" images have been pixellated to show abstractions - configurations of pixels - running throughout the "Black Square" and beyond ("white abyss"). Malevich's "Black Square" becomes monolithic/monumental. Malevich called himself, "President of s(S)pace".
According to "The Cosmos and the Canvas", Aleksandra Shatskikh, Malevich at Tate Modern, July 30, 2014 (Tate Etc., Issue 31, Summer 2014):
Kazimir Malevich called his abstract compositions Suprematism, which in its first stage meant the dominance of color energy and its transformations in painting. For him, the life of color as such was linked to the Universe: objectless color generated the sensation of its objectless, imageless being. According to him, the "white abyss" of the background, whose whiteness was conditioned by the extreme incandescence of energetic tension in the Universe, was the manifestation of s(S)pace on Suprematist canvases. In late 1917 the painted elements became increasingly dynamic. Their sharp edges cut into the whiteness, and as the concentration of colour decreases, the boundary between figure and background disappears. Malevich called this process "dissolution", a term with Cosmic connotations: "The Cosmos is dissolution. The Earth is a small splitting." Through the dissolution of color by the "white abyss" in Suprematism, the phenomenon of non-material time, linked to non-figurative space, appeared more often. In a 1918 poem, Malevich developed this idea:
"Each shape has a real type of time and the coloration of colors is the power of the time's oscillation, time's movement creates shape while simultaneously coloring it and consequently the speed of time can be defined by color."
It was his work on "Victory Over the Sun" that gave rise to his first personal "ism", Alogical Fevralism. Speaking at a debate in February 1914, Malevich announced that he had "rejected reason". He was now placing his bets on irrational "sensation". Freed from objective representations, this would lie at the heart of the new art, Suprematism and, through it, a new world view, and could rest only on phenomena that were purposely not subject to the distorting directives of human reason. He perceived these phenomena in physical manifestations such as electricity, RÃ¶ntgen rays and gravitation, which were invisible in s(S)pace and time.
In spring 1915 the solar symbolism of "Victory Over the Sun" took on new meaning for Malevich. In addition to its "desconstructivist" (his own term) objectives, the Futurist masterpiece was discovered to have utopian-constructive potential, which he linked to the energetic essence of universal processes and their invisible incorporeal might. He would consider embodying Nature's true being to be the goal of both his own art and art as a whole.
Malevich included the expression "partial eclipse" in his works during his Fevralism period, such as "Composition with Mona Lisa", 1914. His "Black Square" of 1915 marked the "total eclipse" that had long been maturing in his art. The black rectangular plane definitively crowded out the natural celestial body that had ensured the sensory perception of earthly reality. It shifted its creator to another - purely speculative - dimension. "A system is being constructed in time and s(S)pace; independent of any aesthetic beauties, experiences, moods, rather [it] is a philosophical color system for realizing the new achievements of my ideas as cognition," Malevich wrote in the preface to a 1919 group exhibition in Moscow. Subsequently, in his theoretical works he expanded several times on the unitary nature of the Universe's spaces and "the infinite space of the human skull".
In Malevich's everyday life, his proclamation of the inevitable break from Earth and speculative mastery of space turned into a passionate immersion in Astronomy. During his Vitebsk years (1919-22), he was never parted from his pocket telescope, constantly observing and studying the starry sky, the map of which he knew thoroughly. This engendered one of his most astounding texts, "Suprematism: 34 Drawings", published on December 15, 1920 with its prophetic lines in the introduction about humanity's Cosmic future. It was here that he gave the ordinary word "sputnik" - Russian for companion or fellow traveller - the meaning that made it famous. As we know, "sputnik" has existed in all the world's languages without translation ever since the call signs of an artificial, man-made celestial body went out on October 4, 1957.
In his text, Malevich lays out visionary ideas of amazing heuristic power, while touching on a sphere seemingly removed from art - technology:
"The Suprematist machine, if it can be put that way, will be single-purposed and have no attachments. A bar alloyed with all the elements, like the Earthly sphere, will bear the life of perfections, so that each constructed Suprematist body will be included in Nature's natural organisation and will form a new sputnik; it is merely a matter of finding the relationship between the two bodies racing in s(S)pace. A new sputnik can be built between Earth and Moon, a Suprematist sputnik equipped with all the elements that moves in an orbit, forming its own new path."