New monument to mark Malevich’s grave

A competition to be held for a monument to mark lost resting place of the Russian avant-garde


The site of Kazimir Malevich’s grave is to be marked with a monument. The work selected to commemorate the Suprematist painter will be chosen through a competition, which was launched last month by the regional culture ministry in Moscow and is open until 24 February.

After Malevich (right) died in 1935, he was laid in a coffin created by fellow artist Nikolai Suetin. His body was then taken to Moscow, where it was cremated. The urn was buried in a field under his favourite tree and marked with a black square monument, also created by Suetin. This was destroyed during the Second World War.

There was an outcry among preservationists last summer after it was discovered that the site had ended up covered in concrete in the middle of an elite, new, residential gated community that had until recently been an empty field. The terms of the competition call for a memorial that “harmonises with the existing landscape and architectural space in the Romashkovo housing development”.

The housing complex’s developers defended themselves by saying that the urn containing Malevich’s ashes disappeared decades ago, and that the artist’s paintings had inspired the architecture of the new buildings.