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Painterly Realism of a Football Player—Color Masses in the 4th Dimension

A work made of oil on canvas.

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.


Summer/fall 1915


Kazimir Malevich
Born Kyiv (formerly Russian Empire, now Ukraine), 1878-1935

About this artwork

During the summer and fall of 1915, Kazimir Malevich secluded himself to prepare for the groundbreaking exhibition 0.10 (Zero-Ten) The Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings. Seeking to push the formal discoveries of Cubism and Futurism to their limits, to find the most essential core—the “zero”—of painting, Malevich produced a series of completely abstract works that he declared constituted an entirely new system of art. Suprematism, as he called the new style, eradicated all references to the natural world and focused instead on the inherent relationships between colored geometric shapes against the void of a subtly textured white background. In the exhibition catalogue he warned, “In naming some of the paintings I do not wish to point out what form to seek in them, but I wish to indicate that real forms were approached in many cases as the ground for formless painterly masses from which a painterly picture was created, quite unrelated to nature.” Painterly Realism of a Football Player—Color Masses in the 4th Dimension belongs to this very first group of Suprematist works. The subtitle refers to the mathematical theory of fourth dimensional space, a concept appropriated by many early twentieth-century artists to justify their representation of truths beyond immediate sensory perception.


On View, Gallery 393


Modern Art


Kasimir Malevich


Painterly Realism of a Football Player—Color Masses in the 4th Dimension




Oil on canvas


Inscribed on verso (in Cyrilic) u.c.: Football Player 1915


Original: 71 × 44.5 cm (27 × 17 1/2 in.); Present: 70.2 × 44.1 cm (27 5/8 × 17 5/16 in.)

Credit Line

Through prior gifts of Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection; Mrs. Albert D. Lasker in memory of her husband, Albert D. Lasker; and Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Larned Coburn Memorial Collection

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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