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(c) Mumok Vienna, photo Lisa Rastl
  • Kyiv Biennal 2017, photo: Maksim Belousov
  • Kyiv Biennal 2017, photo: Maksim Belousov
My dear friends:

I was very much surprised to learn from the article „Diaorama“ [A.i.A., March ´86] of the artist David Diao, who actually copied my work using the famous photo of “The Last Futurist Exhibition” held in Petrograd, Dec. 17, 1915 – Jan. 19, 1916. I was a little bit confused, but eventually I liked both the idea and the paintings. Hope one day to see them for real. It was not less surprising to learn from the same article that my work has recently been used by some other artists from your beautiful town of New York. I can´t stop asking myself: Why? Why now, after so many years?
I remember that cold and snowy winter in Petrograd 1915 as if it were yesterday. Everything was in motion. It was a time of great hopes, enthusiasm, optimism, futurism and, of course, Revolution. You could smell it even in the cold Russian air. The end of the great century … the new age … huge and cold building at Marsovo Polje (Champ de mars) no. 7… “The Last Futurist Exhibition 0,10” … no heating … Puni running around always asking for nails … Kliun quite nervous, like a bridegroom before the wedding. I must admit I didn´t have any previous plan for my, as you now say, “installation.” It was purely accidental. I only knew that the Black Square must be in the top corner. Everything else was irrelevant. While I was hanging my small Suprematist paintings here and there, it didn´t occur to me that the photo of this installation would become so famous and be published in hundreds of books, reviews. And today it is even “quoted” in the paintings by one of my colleagues! I don´t remember now who actually took this picture, but it is just a photo, black and white. No colors! I have an impression that this photo is becoming even more important than my Suprematist paintings! This was the major reason I kept on thinking for years to do the same exhibition again.
Since, for obvious reasons, it was not possible to do it in Petrograd, I decided to make “The Last Futurist Exhibition” again exactly 70 years later (Dec. 17, 1985 – Jan. 19, 1986) in a small apartment in the beautiful town of Belgrade. One part of the exhibition was an exact replica of the Petrograd installation. But this time, no papers with titles on the walls, no numbers, no chair. Another part of this exhibition presented some of my recent, neo-Suprematist works: Suprematist icons on ancient reliefs and sculptures. Suprematist icons in needlepoint. I think you can get a better impression from the picture.
I know that for most of you this letter will come as a great surprise, since it is generally believed that I died in 1935 I know … Suetin´s coffin … the great burial procession along the streets of Leningrad … the Black Square on the grave … Yes, there are many people thinking that I died. But, did I?
  • Artist: Kazimir Malevich
  • Original Title: Kazimir Malevich, The Last Futurist Exhibition
  • Year: 1985
  • Material: installation of 21 paintings, acrylic on canvas
  • Dimensions: 157 1/2 × 354 5/16 in. (400 × 900 cm)
  • Inventory no.: K063
  • Category: installation
Parts of Work