Russian painter and art theoretician Kazimir Severinovich Malevich (1878–1935) is probably most famous for his enigmatic “Black Square” of 1913, now displayed at the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. It was just that – a black square. What was the big deal? Malevich believed that art was for spiritual awakening, and this fact has led to a range of interpretations of his work.
Taking Malevich’s style as a starting point, Russian artist Paul Solovyev has come up with his “Pope Art” series that uses colour and geometry to reveal greater truths. Paul asks: “What is Malevich’s “Black Square” — the Absolute or the Void, God or the opposite, the image or the absence of image, is it impossibly bright light or darkness, the living Word or the black square of censorship, the icon or the anti-icon?” Carefully composed, each painting of Paul’s raises similar questions.
“I get my inspiration literally everywhere,” the artist continues. “My greatest interest is mysticism and religion — though my works could seem dark and unorthodox — I’m a simple Orthodox Christian and I do sing in an Orthodox Christian choir in a church as well.”
Paul has a master’s degree in Mathematics. He entered the world of art from the world of advertising and communication. He has worked on leading positions at the digital agencies BBDO, Proximity and LOWE. His art has been exhibited at several venues in Moscow, including Fabrica CCI, Elektrozavod Gallery, Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Karacharov Factory, Bauman Garden and MSK Eastside Gallery.
Below you will find paintings from “Pope Art” as well as from another series called “War is Peace” that deals with issues of national identity, ideology and mass production. The featured image above is titled “The Road to Damascus”.
Images used with permission.