"The world as the perception of an idea, independent of the image- that is the elementary essence of art." - Malevich 1927. Revolution! In 1915 the Russian artist Malevich declared a Black Square on a White Background an icon of his times and thus founded a new form of art, liberated from objects - Suprematism. Supported by the Bolsheviks at first, his 'formalistic' art was soon considered counterrevolutionary. 50 years later, in 1989, the first comprehensive Malevich retrospective outside Russia was held in Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum. It is here that Barrie Gavin outlines the artist's creative phases and his life story. In doing so, he discovers the most diverse 'isms' of the 20th century and one of the most significant pioneers of abstract art. Malevich was born in Kiev on the 23rd February,1878 and grew up in the Russian countryside, the son of a sugar factory director. He attended agricultural college and found himself inspired by local handicraft from a young age. His passion for art grew with his age and he felt drawn to the Russian cities of Moscow and Petersburg. He found his home in the European Avant-garde scene. In his Cubanist and Futuristic paintings, Malevich explored the renunciation of figurative painting. In 1915, Malevich presented his oil painting Black Square and 38 other works at the 0,10 exhibition in Petrograd. He placed the work in the east-facing corner of the room, as one would a Russian icon. This was when the philosophy of Suprematism emerged, for which he would ruminate more on the subject in books and more art. Malevich walked the line from being accepted to ridiculed for his work, throughout his life. Although today Suprematism painting is still mocked as non-art by some, it marks the Copernican revolution in art.