His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Black is technically not even a colour. And the skill is not in the technical aspect but in making it as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Also keep in mind that it is almost 100 years old, it was a lot more revolutionary back then than it may seem now.
I hope this doesn't come across as me just jumping on the Bandwagon, but I really am missing something with this black square. I just don't see this guy sitting for days, struggling with "how can I best represent my vision of God?" and finally, after innumerable attempts, coming up with a black square mounted on a slightly larger stone colored square. It is more likely to me that he came up with the explanation afterward, maybe as he sat there with a friend, drunk, and they were talking about the funny painting in the corner.
When I was a kid, another kid showed me a blank page and told me it was his masterpiece. I asked what it was. He said it was a cow in a meadow. I asked where the grass was. He said the cow ate it. I asked where the cow was. He said it ate all the grass so it left. Is that art? Yeah, it's just a dumb third grade joke. But it was this kid's expression of a cow in a meadow.
It's not art simply because a fairly intelligent guy/gal/con artist can come up with what sounds like a cool explanation for it. To me, art is something that if I stare at it long enough, it moves me somehow or I see something in it. I could stare at that black square forever and it would not move me, and I would never think it was a representation of God or of anything other than a black square. I think you give Malevich too much credit for this, like everyone else. I also think there's a lot of hive mind mentality at work in connection with this Black Square.
How about I re-imagine it for you. I think it more represents the artist and his time than anything else. Communism was the stripping away of all wealth to make everyone equal. Individuality was crushed. The Black Square represents this - form is anathema because it illustrates individuality. The Black Square is nothing more than a representation of the artist's life at the time. Mildly interesting at best. Some of his other work is much more interesting, and is actually art. Like his white squares painting. Which is obviously a representation of boobs.
Now, as for the knotted chair . . .
"the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
Hermann Goering, April 1946.