Other artists sought to return to pure shapes and concepts. The first to use geometric shapes in abstraction was Kazimir Malevich. Inspired by the aerial photographs of landscapes19, he began to experiment with compositions of abstract flat forms. Just as flying can show us the familiar from a new perspective, Malevich sought a higher perspective in art. His compositions can be experienced just as they are: pure forms of colour and shapes, without any representational value needed. Together with other artists of the Suprematism movement Malevich sought nothing less but to improve the world through his works — through the honest and clear expression of universal forms.
The ideals of purity and efficiency were realised by various art movements from Bauhaus to Minimalism. Form was reduced to a mere formality by Conceptualism. Following the Post-Modern fusion of past and present influences, abstraction and reinvention were used hand in hand, enhancing each other’s qualities, creating new dynamics from these odd contrasts. Both using and defying rational thinking in art raises questions, it conflicts what we expect and incites us to look again. In the murals of José Parlá we can see expressive patches of colours, resembling the city lights, graffiti, calligraphy, stained posters and walls — a collage of impressions of the bustling New York. The feel of the city is unmistakable even in all its abstraction and yet, the use of familiar materials brings it to life in the grittiness of it all. It is both surprising and relatable. Needless to say, the experience is complete — as with any abstract landscapes by aforementioned masters, we can relish the dynamics of visuals on their own, experiencing art as it is, without any further translation.