Russian Avant-Garde

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The Spiritual Universe

For most painters, despite the discoveries of Galileo, Copernicus and Giordano Bruno,
the Universe remained geocentric (from an emotional and practical point of view, that is
to say, in their creativity). The imagination and structures in their paintings remain
pledged to a terrestrial attraction. Perspective and horizon, notions of top and bottom
were for them undeniably obvious.

Russian Avant-Garde
Russian Avant-Garde
Russian Avant-Garde
Russian Avant-Garde
Russian Avant-Garde

Suprematism would disrupt all of this. In some way,
Malevich was looking at Earth from space or, in another way, his ‘spiritual universe’
suggested to him this cosmic vision. Numerous Russian philosophers, poets and painters
at the beginning of the century returned to the Gnostic idea of primitive Christianity,
which saw a typological identity between the spiritual world of man and the Universe.
‘The human skull,’ wrote Malevich, ‘offers to the movement representations of the same
infinity, it equals the Universe, because all that man sees in the Universe is there.’ 9 Man
had begun to feel that he was not only the son of Earth but also an integral part of the
Universe. The spiritual movement of man’s inner world generates subjective forms of
space and time.

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