Kazimir Severinovich Malevich (February 12, 1878 – May 15, 1935) was a painter and art theoretician, pioneer of geometric abstract art and one of the most important members of the so-called Russian avantgarde.
Malevich was born in Kiev, Imperial Russia (now Ukraine). He studied at the Kiev School of Art, the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture and in the studio of Fedor Rerberg in Moscow.
After early experiments with various modernist styles including Cubism and Futurism, in 1915, in Petrograd, he introduced his abstract, non-objective geometric patterns in a style and artistic movement he called Suprematism; famous examples include Black Square and White on White.
Malevich was a member of the Collegium on the Arts of Narkompros, the commission for the protection of monuments and the museums commission; later on, he taught at the Vitebsk Practical Art School in Belarus, the Leningrad Academy of Arts, the Kiev State Art Institute and the House of the Arts in Leningrad. He wrote the book The World as Non-Objectivity on his theories.
When the Stalinist regime turned against modernist "bourgeois" art, Malevich was persecuted. Many of his works were confiscated and/or destroyed, and he died in poverty and oblivion in Leningrad, Soviet Union (today Saint Petersburg, Russia).