Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999, p. 85
“A white square floating weightlessly in a white field, Suprematist Composition: White on White was one of the most radical paintings of its day: a geometric abstraction without reference to external reality. Yet the picture is not impersonal: we see the artist’s hand in the texture of the paint, and in the subtle variations of the whites. The square is not exactly symmetrical, and its lines, imprecisely ruled, have a breathing quality, generating a feeling not of borders defining a shape but of a space without limits.
After the Revolution, Russian intellectuals hoped that human reason and modern technology would engineer a perfect society. Malevich was fascinated with technology, and particularly with the airplane, instrument of the human yearning to break the bounds of earth. He studied aerial photography, and wanted White on White to create a sense of floating and transcendence. White was for Malevich the color of infinity, and signified a realm of higher feeling.”
I have a friend in California who is a poet, he also believes that his “shape poetry” have to fluctuate in the space where it is. But he is a colorful friend, he paint with words, colorful words that make to laugh or to cry or to feel.
My friend poet always wrote me very sensitive messages… messages or poems? These messages filled my mailbox with colors and gave me much fun.
He will not write messages or create poetry anymore, I am losing my friend to a terrible disease. So I can understand that today my color white is not Malevich’s white, my white is the empty, is the absence, is the feeling of loss, the loss of so dear friend and all poetry that he still could create.
Eu tenho um amigo poeta lá na Califórnia, ele também acredita que sua “shape poetry” deve flutuar no suporte onde ela está. Mas esse amigo é um colorista, ele colore com palavras, que fazem rir ou sentir ou chorar.
Meu amigo poeta sempre me escrevia mensagens muito sensíveis, essas mensagens iluminadas coloriam a minha caixa postal e me alegravam sempre.
Ele não vai me escrever mais ou fazer poesia, estou perdendo meu amigo para uma terrível doença. Posso então compreender que hoje o meu branco não é o de Malevich, o meu branco é o vazio, é a ausência, é sentimento de perda, a perda desse amigo tão querido e de toda poesia que ele ainda poderia criar.