Guggenheim Settles With Malevich Heirs

An untitled painting by Kazimir Malevich.The foundation that runs the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum said on Monday that it had reached an agreement with the heirs of the artist Kazimir Malevich over the ownership of an untitled work by him that the museum plans to include in an exhibition this month. In a joint news release, the foundation and the heirs of Malevich, the Russian Suprematist, said they had reached “an amicable settlement” over an oil painting on canvas made by the artist around 1916, which was acquired by Peggy Guggenheim in 1942 and has been part of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. The painting is one of about 70 Malevich works that were presented at an exhibition in Berlin in 1927, during which the artist was called back to the Soviet Union and entrusted the works to several friends. Malevich died in 1935 and his work was subsequently banned by the Nazis, but his paintings, drawings and other art have since become part of the collections of museums and private owners, setting the stage for efforts by his heirs to reclaim ownership of these works.

The Guggenheim, which will show the untitled painting in an exhibition called “Malevich in Focus: 1912–1922,” said in a statement that the terms of the settlement were confidential. A representative of the Malevich heirs said in a statement that the family “is gratified that this matter has been resolved in a way that acknowledges Malevich’s legacy and his contributions to the history of 20th-century art and keeps his artwork on public display.”

From/By DAVE ITZKOFF, NY Tims Feb. 8, 2010

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