Carol Vogel’s New York Times column tells the story of the Art Institute of Chicago acquiring a restituted Malevich painting through the Gagosian Gallery. Vogel triangulates the price from Sotheby’s 2008 sale of a 1916 work for $60 million:
An abstract canvas of bold geometric shapes floating on a white background by the Russian avant-garde artist Kasimir Malevich has been purchased by the Art Institute of Chicago.
The work, “Painterly Realism of a Football Player — Color Masses in the 4th Dimension” (1915), is the first example of Russian Suprematism to enter the museum’s collection.
“We’ve wanted a Malevich for a long time,” said Stephanie D’Alessandro, the curator of modern art at the Art Institute. “And this painting is from 1915, his breakout year, and it has all the remnants of the artist’s hands.”
Gagosian has announced a show, Malevich and the American Legacy, to open in March at the Gallery’s 980 Madison location that will feature the six works owned by the heirs (including Mystic Suprematism (1920-27) seen above):
The exhibition has been conceived in close collaboration with the heirs of Kazimir Malevich and features six rare and pivotal paintings, including Painterly Realism of a Football Player–Color Masses in the 4th Dimension (1915) that was recently acquired from the heirs of Malevich by the Art Institute of Chicago. They are brought together with works by modern and contemporary American artists including Carl Andre, John Baldessari, Alexander Calder, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, Barnett Newman, Ad Reinhardt, Ed Ruscha, Robert Ryman, Richard Serra, Frank Stella, James Turrell, and Cy Twombly. Major museums including The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Nasher Sculpture Center, and Storm King Art Center have lent works; others have been borrowed from the personal collections of Twombly, Kelly, and Ruscha.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated and scholarly catalogue with essays by Yve-Alain Bois, Magdalena Dabrowski, and Aleksandra Shatskikh.
Inside Art: A Russian for Chicago (New York Times)
Malevich and the American Legacy (Gagosian)