Kazimir Severinovich Malevich was a Russian avant-garde artist and art theorist, whose pioneering work and writing had a profound influence on the development of non-objective, or abstract art, in the 20th century. Born in Kiev to an ethnic Polish family, his concept of Suprematism sought to develop a form of expression that moved as far as possible from the world of natural forms and subject matter in order to access "the supremacy of pure feeling" and spirituality. Malevich is considered to be part of the Ukrainian avant-garde that was shaped by Ukrainian-born artists who worked first in Ukraine and later over a geographical span between Europe and America.
Early on, Malevich worked in a variety of styles, quickly assimilating the movements of Impressionism, Symbolism and Fauvism, and after visiting Paris in 1912, Cubism. Gradually simplifying his style, he developed an approach with key works consisting of pure geometric forms and their relationships to one another, set against minimal grounds.