Multiple parties desire artistic legacy

Kunstmuseum Basel (Switzerland) to return a gouache by Kazimir Malevich to artist’s heirs

In 1927, Kazimir Malevich came to Berlin for several weeks, being given a hall at a major Berlin art exhibition. Unexpectedly, he was called back to Leningrad, leaving about 100 of his art works in Berlin.

In 2010, the artist’s heirs registered a claim for two gouaches and almost 60 drawings against the Swiss Kunstmuseum, which maintains that it acquired the Malevich works honourably — in line with Swiss law. Meanwhile, the artist’s heirs stress that Malevich’s acquaintances in Berlin had no right to sell his pictures.  However, the museum has agreed to return Malevich’s gouache Landscape with Red House; another — The Washing Woman — will remain in Switzerland, alongside around 60 other drawings, which are part of a permanent exhibition.

Malevich’s heirs have laid claim to his Berlin works before, leading to them being sent to the New York Museum of Modern Art and to Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum. In both cases, agreements were settled.
Kazimir Malevich lived and worked in Belarusian Vitebsk for some time.

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