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Madam ‘Black Square’: Malevich to surprise public again!

When people in Moscow crowded to see Serov’s exhibition, they may not have realised that, in the neighbouring hall, was the Under the Sign of Malevich exhibition
When, recently, people in Moscow crowded to see Serov’s exhibition, they may not have realised that, in the neighbouring hall, was the Under the Sign of Malevich exhibition. Last year, the world celebrated the 100th anniversary of the creation of Black Square.

At the exhibition in Moscow, Iwona took a fancy to a sculpture by German Berds Schweiger

Our MT reporter met the Head of the Foreign Fund Department for Kazimir Malevich, the grandniece of the artist, Iwona Malevich, who has inherited his legacy.

Fans of Malevich address you as Madam ‘Black Square’.

I love that, and always wear a ‘Black Square’ symbol on clothes, bags, jewellery and accessories, which I make myself.

When Kazimir spoke about the ‘Black Square’ in his letter to Alexandre Benois, in 1918, he wrote: ‘I’ve painted a naked icon of my time’. For me, this work contains the germ of all possibilities. It is a visual manifesto of superiority, creating a revolution in art.

Is Kazimir your grand-uncle?

He is the brother of my grandfather Antonio, who also painted pictures and wrote verse. Grandmother Victoria often told me about their last meeting. It was at Warsaw railway station, some minutes prior to train departure. Antonio stood on the platform and they chatted through an open window. At the end of the conversation, Kazimir began to cry, then wiped his tears with a handkerchief and threw it to his brother. This handkerchief became the most valuable memento for my grandfather.

Experts at the Tretyakov Gallery found a colourful canvas under a layer of paint.

Research at museums worldwide has shown that Malevich painted over many pictures, including ‘White Square’.

What do you know about Malevich’s life in Belarus?

His most fruitful years coincided with the time he spent with pupils of the creative association Unovis, which he founded in Vitebsk. He named his daughter Una, who was born there. It was his ‘cultural revolution’. I haven’t been to Minsk or Vitebsk but, this year, plan to visit both.

You’ve been to the Belarusian Embassy building in Moscow?

I was given a tour of the Cultural Centre, and was impressed by its modern equipment. We’ll co-operate, showing little-known items, to interest and surprise visitors.

Have you watched Alexander Mitta’s film Chagall-Malevich?

I watched it, and I was very disappointed, as were the critics. The general opinion was that it wasn’t honest. I have nothing further to say.


Kazimir Malevich (1878-1935), the forefather of suprematism, first presented his Black Square to the public at the last futuristic exhibition 0, 10 on December 19th, 1915. Last year, exhibitions and vernissages were held worldwide to mark the 100th anniversary of this event.
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