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White on White by Kazimir Malevich and The Man with a Guitar by Georges Braque

HomeEssaysCompare and Contrast EssayWhite on White by Kazimir Malevich and The Man with a Guitar by Georges Braque
White on White by Kazimir Malevich and The Man with a Guitar by Georges Braque
14.08.2020
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Kazimir Malevich was a Ukrainian-born Russian artist. His career coincided with the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and all the outcomes. He was behind the founding of the philosophical school of suprematism. His ideas were the stepping stone to non-objective and abstract art. However, this paper concentrates on one of his major paintings called White on White. Georges Braque was a French artist. His area of professionalism in art was cubism. His ideas on cubism ensured that he became the founding father of the cubism method of painting. Cubism was a form of art in which the picture divided into many geometric shapes. These forms included circles, squares, and triangles. This paper seeks to show the differences between the two artists’ techniques as well as highlight how their methods changed the painting field by ending reliance on conventional methods.

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To achieve this goal, the paper is organized in the following manner. It is divided into four main sections in which it covers the similarities and differences between the two paintings. These sections have subtitles, and they show the topics under analysis. To examine them correctly, a historical context in which the paintings were created needs to be covered.

Historical Context

The Suprematism Composition: White on White painting by Kazimir Malevich was painted at a very significant time in Russian history. This time was the Russian suprematism movement, and Malevich created it immediately after the Russian Revolution. Braque, on the other hand, teamed up with Picasso, and they ended up coming up with the analytic cubism technique that changed the history of painting.

Use of Geometric Shapes

One of the simple comparisons that are evident in these two works of art is the fact that both pictures use geometric shapes. Taking a look at the painting by Malevich known as White on White, one may see that the work portrays a white square. This square inclines at an angle on yet another square, which is white in color. The Man with a Guitar, on the other hand, is a painting by Georges Braque, and though it is similar to White on White in terms use of geometric shapes, the way he used the forms is entirely different from Malevich’s painting. Braque has segmented Man with a Guitar in many geometric shapes. He then arranged them in a particular grid-like manner to form a superb art.

The medium of the Paintings

One of the undeniable similarities between the two pictures is that both of them have been created using the same medium. White on White by Kazimir Malevich and Man with a Guitar by Georges Braque are oil-on-canvas paintings. Therefore, both artists used the same methods to prepare their works of art. However, the techniques used were entirely different.

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Techniques Used

The techniques used to create the two paintings are completely different from one another, even though both of them use geometric shapes. In Man with a Guitar, Georges Braque uses a mode of art known as analytic cubism. Picasso also used the described method of art; it entailed using different representations to challenge the orthodoxy of space in painting, which was taken to be an illusion. In his work, Braque uses colors and complex patterns in the form of cubes to depict a man who is playing the guitar.

In the White on White painting, Malevich uses minimum coloristic effects and abstract geometric forms together with a compositional structure to create the art. The artist used a slight change in the tonality to distinguish the shape used in his painting from the background. This shift in tonality, in turn, gives the viewer that close view feeling so as to analyze precisely it. In this piece of art, he tries to show something absolute by eliminating unnecessary details and also the details that may not encourage the viewer to have an actual feeling of the painting.

Suprematism and Analytic Cubism

Malevich’s painting was created after the Russian Revolution, and it was an example of the Russian suprematism. Though the picture did not have many details, the artist tried to make it look like a square emerging from the canvas. The Man with a Guitar, on the other hand, was a painting that attempted to challenge its viewers to understand a picture that was broken down into structural components and often represented for several angles. Braque put efforts to use the painting to render a portrait of a man playing the guitar with a nail and rope appearing in the top left corner of the picture. It becomes apparent by analyzing the two paintings that the two artists tried to use different angles to depict the shapes that presented themselves in their paintings.

Color, Positioning, and Background

It is clear that the two paintings made by Braque and Malevich attempted to show that the conventions of art were able to change, and new ways could be used to prepare pictures that would challenge the viewers. The two paintings paved the way for a new mode of painting in turn: they ensured that artist could see the way that ideas could be used to change the field of art. We can also see that even though the artists used geometric shapes in their painting, their positioning was critical since their work required the forms that were positioned at different angles to get the desired effect.

In his works, Braque used muted colors. In Man with a Guitar, he used reddish brown in the foreground and warm blue color in the background. In this technique employed by Braque, the light was also an important factor as he used it in his painting to confuse the viewers. This method was different from those applied by Malevich in his painting since in White on White, unlike Man with a Guitar, he uses the technique of minimizing the color effects of the art. Therefore, this painting had no sense of color, depth, or volume as compared to Man with a Guitar.

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Conclusion

Looking at these two paintings, it becomes clear that their authors were very gifted. They decided to go out of the ordinary conventions of painting to come up with works of art that challenged the viewers. Their actions made the latter think hard as they analyzed them, and even though they did not implement the methods of art used by other artists, their works still conveyed a message. These artists paved the way for other ones to use their methods to expand the fields of painting. The White on White painting gives a viewer a free kind of feeling. Man with a Guitar shows a man playing the guitar, and even though it has been divided into many geometric shapes, the audience can see the painting and analyze it accurately. Suprematism and analytic cubism, therefore, are both excellent methods of painting. Although they use the same basics, they are entirely different from one another. The two pictures seem to challenge the audience at a high level. To understand them, one needs to look and analyze the very well. In a nutshell, the paintings are crucial pieces of art. They can be used to explain the way art has changed.

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