In 1922 the First Russian Art Exhibition in Berlin first exposed Moholy-Nagy (then living in Germany) and Western European audiences in general to the extensive artistic experimentation that had taken place in Russia after the revolution of 1917. This work illustrates Moholy-Nagy's commitment to the ideas of Russian avant-garde artists such as Kazimir Malevich, whose aesthetic theory, known as Suprematism, espoused "the rediscovery of pure art, which, in the course of time, had become obscured by the accumulation of things," Malevich wrote. Moholy-Nagy interpreted Russian artistic ideas within the context of the Bauhaus (he became a faculty member in 1923) and incorporated aspects of them into his teaching. In this work, titled "Suprematistic" to acknowledge the influence of Malevich, the painted surface—no longer bound by the rules of traditional pictorial perspective—provides an opportunity for what Moholy-Nagy called "the primal human reaction to color, light and form."
Gallery label from 2011.