Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Guggenheim Reaches Agreement with Malevich Heir

On February 8, 2010, The New York Times reported that the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation reached an agreement with the heirs of Russian artist Kazimir Malevich (1879-1935). The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice has acknowledged the heirs' ownership of an untitled work by Malevich, the originator of Russian Suprematism.

The painting (c. 1916) is one of 70 works by Malevich that were exhibited in Berlin in 1927. During the exhibition, Malevich had to return to Russia and entrusted the paintings to friends. Malevich died in 1935, however, and matters were further complicated by Hitler's rise to power. Malevich's work was considered degenerate and banned by the Nazis. The paintings and drawings found their way into museum and private collections, which has led to efforts among Malevich heirs to reclaim ownership of these works.

The Guggenheim Foundation has described the details of the agreement as confidential but described it as "an amicable settlement," a sentiment echoed by the Malevich heirs. [NYT]

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