Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

At ?34M, It's the Most Valuable Russian Import; "Groundbreaking Work": Malevich's 1916 Suprematist Composition Could Sell for around ?34 Million

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

At ?34M, It's the Most Valuable Russian Import; "Groundbreaking Work": Malevich's 1916 Suprematist Composition Could Sell for around ?34 Million

Article excerpt

Byline: LOUISE JURY

THE most important and valuable Russian painting ever to come to auction goes on show in London today.

Suprematist Composition by Kazimir Malevich has been seen only once in Britain before, when it was at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1959.

It can be viewed at Sotheby's for the next few weeks before the work by the Ukranian-born avant-garde artist, who studied and worked in Moscow, is sold in New York on 3 November by Malevich's heirs.

The estimate is understood to be in excess of $60 million (?34 million).

Emmanuel Di-Donna, vice chairman of Sotheby's Impressionist and modern art worldwide, said Suprematist Composition was a modern masterpiece.

"It ranks amongst the finest paintings of the 20th century, on a par with the best of modern masters such as Picasso, Rothko, Pollock and de Kooning that have ever come up for sale either at auction or privately," he said. "It's instantly recognisable as Malevich. It's one of those great ground-breaking works that have enormous importance." The painting has spent the last half century in Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum. Malevich's heirs fought a 17-year battle to reclaim the work along with others that they argued had been illegally sold to the museum after the artist died in 1935. …

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