Best known for his purely abstract work, Malevich was inspired by diverse art movements of his day. Through oil paintings, gouaches, drawings, and sculptures, the catalogue traces the rich variety of his oeuvre. It will be surprising to many to recognize those influences in the work of Malevich: the light touches of Impressionism, the spirituality of Symbolism, Fauvism and exotic colored geometric cubism and primitivism next to futuristic dynamism.
The catalogue follows Malevich's development to his "own" Suprematism, as he established in paintings, spatial "arkhitektons" and designs for opera and film. Attention is also paid to the figurative works from the period, which in the West initially were not valued, partly because they were totally unknown.
The Khardzhiev and Costakis collections provide a context for this varied oeuvre by including many works by Malevich's fellow artists of the Russian avant-garde.