Kazimir Malevich

Books: Confiscated Malevich material to be revealed as his autobiography finally comes to light

First ever complete edition of avant-garde artist’s writings appearing in five volumes

The full autobiography of Malevich, most of which has never been published and which was confiscated from the luggage of the aged and reclusive scholar, Nikolai Khardzjev, as he was leaving Russia in 1993, will now become available to scholars in the complete edition of the artist’s writings to be published in Russia by the Giley Literary Agency. There have already been many editions of Malevich’s theoretical writings in France, Denmark and the USA but they have not previously been available in Russian. The current one will be far more complete than comparable foreign editions. Among the new material there will be the text “On Impressionism”, also confiscated from Mr Khardzjev and now in the Russian State Archive for Literature and Art. The final volume is to include letters of the artist that have been found in private archives in Russia. The editorial team consists of Malevich experts Dmitry Sarabyanov, Alexander Shatskikh, Andrei Sarabyanov, founder of the Malevich Foundation in Russia, Galina Demosfenova and probably also Niels Andersen. The publication of the first volume has been carried out with financial support from the Soros Centre of Modern Art Volume I contains all articles, manifestos, theoretical writings and other works (1913-29) known to have been published in Russian during the artist’s lifetime. It also contains articles taken from the newspaper Anarchy (1918), of which there is only one copy in the Russian State Library in Moscow (researchers had been denied access to this owing to its fragility). Apart from original texts with notes and commentaries, Volume I also has a small number of black and white illustrations. Volume II, which is due to be published early next year, will include those of Malevich’s literary works which were translated into other languages during his lifetime (Ukrainian, Polish and German). Volume III will include the celebrated work Suprematism: the world as subjectlessness (1922), as well as texts not previously published either in Russia or the West, in particular from private Russian archives, the State Russian Museum, the State Tretyakov Gallery, the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Confiscated Malevich material to be revealed'