Kazimir Malevich

Moscow property development threatens site of Malevich grave

Local authorities have not been sympathetic towards Malevich's estate where he was buried

Relatives of Russian Suprematist painter Kazimir Malevich fear that the exact location of his grave may never be known because wealthy Russians are rapidly buying land and building houses on the artist’s former estate outside Moscow. In 1935 Malevich was buried under an oak tree on his estate in Nemchinovka, about 20 kilometres north of Moscow. The former Malevich estate was last owned by a Soviet agricultural research institute and most of it is still flat open land. The oak tree disappeared during the German advance on the city during the Second World War. Since then relatives and scholars have not been able to locate the grave. Despite this, about ten years ago they erected a small square monument on the territory of the former estate to commemorate the painter. Vladimir Bogdanov, 89, whose mother was Malevich’s sister, is one of the 31 Malevich heirs. He lives in Moscow and has been actively trying to halt the property development. He tells stories of how his uncle taught the children assembled there about nature, and how he often drew animals for them. Bogdanov, who spent his life working as an engineer but who took up painting as a hobby 17 years ago, told The Art Newspaper that local officials have not been sympathetic to his appeals to stop the building.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 118 October 2001