Karel Malich studied at the Pedagogical Faculty of Charles University under Professor Martin Salcman (1945−1949) before enrolling at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts (1950−1953) under Professor Vladimír Silovský.
His early paintings of the landscape of his native Holice and areas on the Prague outskirts underwent a major tranformation at the end of the 1950s. Malich’s style became geometrical and he started to work with monochrome planes. He broke free from links with external reality and concentrated on expressing the sense experience of perceiving a landscape. In 1962 he painted his first purely abstract temperas, in which matter assumes spherical form. At that time his geometrical expression was intuitive. From 1967 he started to produce reliefs and sculptures in which he focused on the problem of so-called corridors. In his own words the theme arose out of a terrifying sense of lack of concentration. Malich sensed everywhere among people constant flows of energy that bombarded him. From that emerged the idea of cylindrical or turret-like corridors, which he pictured as cylindrical paths, or alternatively he dispersed them or blocked them out. At that time he used pure and precise materials. Those sculptures were first exhibited full-size at an unusual exhibition at the Prague Castle Riding School in 2013. The reliefs and spatial projects of the 1960s and ’70s that constitute a remarkable world of wire-mesh clouds suspended in space and contain cosmic, natural and inner energy flows would achieve great significance and become extremely well known. In the 1990s his oeuvre achieved international renown. Since his presentation at the Venice Biennale in 1995, where he exhibited pastels and wires, there have been several international exhibitions of his work.