Dust Settles

Guggenheim Resolves Malevich Exhibit Conflict

The Guggenheim’s trouble over a nameless painting is finally over—the New York museum settled the ownership issues surrounding Russian avant-garde artist Kazimir Malevich’s abstract oil painting, “Untitled.” The museum reached a deal with Malevich’s descendants that resulted in them keeping his 1916 unnamed masterpiece in their collection, though details of the settlement are being kept confidential. Sixty-eight years ago, the Guggenheim first bought the painting, which is among a group of 70 works Malevich displayed in Germany in 1927. When Soviet Union authorities suddenly called for the artist’s return, Malevich was forced to entrust his works of art to various friends in Europe. In 1935, less than a decade later, Malevich passed away without reclaiming the paintings he’d loaned out of necessity. His works have since popped up in museums and private collections both abroad and in the U.S. Malevich’s heirs have fought to reclaim their ancestor’s work and won on several occasions. But “Untitled” will stay at the Guggenheim, where it will be featured in the upcoming exhibit, “Malevich in Focus: 1912-1922,” opening February 19.