From Kazimir Malevich’s Black Square to the Midnight Sun of Adi Da Samraj

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The signature works of Kazimir Malevich and Adi Da Samraj provide the basis of a comparison between the two artists and bring into focus the drive and original intentions of the modernists of the early twentieth century and of a new “avant-garde” of the twenty-first century. For both artists the language of abstraction serves as a liberation from dominant conventional narratives that distract from rather than engender aesthetic ecstasy. Both invite the viewer’s participation in their works to be carried beyond the points of view of such narratives. Through the irony of his work, Malevich leaves his viewers stranded on a desert of incomprehensibility with a vision of reality only in the distance. Adi Da Samraj encourages and enables a demonstrable image-assisted subjective process through his work for the viewer to become Reality Itself.

In the last years of his life, Adi Da Samraj reviewed the work of Kazimir Malevich, the enigmatic Russian painter and aesthetic theorist. Malevich was one of the most significant and influential avant-garde artists of the twentieth century. His work defines the contours of a radical experimental disposition that has been emulated to one degree or another by practically all subsequent generations of avant-garde painters. Adi Da’s interest in Malevich as well as in other major artists of that period arose partly from a desire to clarify and articulate in his own writing and artistic creation the relationship between his creative process as the “new avant-garde” and that of the project of modernism as part of the development of twentieth century art as a whole. A comparison of the aesthetic intentions of the two artists informs the context and elucidates the intentions of their work in ways that may shed light on the individual claims and contributions that both artists have made for their work.

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This article first appeared in Da Plastique - The Image-Art of Ads Da Samraj https://www.daplastique.com/

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