Tempera on cardboard
69,3 x 70
State Russian Museum
Shown at the First Moscow Salon exhibition in 1911 as part of a cycle of works under the common heading of Yellow Series, this is one of the earliest known self-portraits of Kazimir Malevich. Like the other works of the series, Self-Portrait betrays the influence of the mystical overtones of Symbolism. The restrained and melodious tones of this ornamental painting also slot naturally into the stylistics of Art Nouveau. Even at this early stage in Malevich’s professional career, his outer appearance offers a hint at the messianic rôle in art to which he and his followers would later lay claim.
Malevich, Kazimir Severinovich (1878, Kiev - 1935, Leningrad)
Painter, graphic artist, writer on art, portraitist, landscapist, abstractionist. Studied at the Kiev School of Art (1895-1896) and Fyodor Roehrberg's studio in Moscow (1906-1910). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1905). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Moscow Fellowship of Artists (from 1907), Donkey's Tail (1912), Target (1913), Der Blaue Reiter (1912), Salon des Independants (1914), Tramcar V. First Futurist Exhibition (1915) and 0,10. Last Futurist Exhibition (1915-1916). Designed the sets and costumes for the Futurist opera "Victory Over the Sun" (1913). Member of the Union of Youth (1910) and Jack of Diamonds (1910, 1916). Founded the AFFIRMES OF THE NEW ARTgroup (1920). Worked for Department of An People's Commissariat of Education (1918-1919). Director of the Museum/Institute of Artistic Culture in Petrograd/Leningrad (1923-1926).