Kazimir Malevich (1878-1935), Suprematist Composition: White on White, 1918, MoMa, New York.
“I have overcome the lining of the colored sky… . Swim in the white free abyss, infinity is before you.”
Malevich restricted his suprematist compositions to the three basic geometric shapes: the square, circle and triangle. Of these three, he believed the sqaure to be the ‘purest’ form.
White on white is maybe the ultimate suprematist composition— the supremacy of the basic forms and colours of painting to create a composition. Whereas black is the absence of colour (see Malevich’s Black Square paintings) white is the presence of all colours. White on White is therefore, at least to the artist, the perfect painting, containing the purest form and full of infinite possibilities.