Saturday, October 11, 2008

Will Kazimir Malevich painting earn $60 million at Sotheby's auction?

Suprematist Composition (1916) by Kazimir Malevich, via Art Daily

Sotheby’s is confident that it will break the $20.9 million record set for the sale of Russian art at auction by Kandinsky set in 1990. Leading the charge is Suprematist Composition, composed by Kazimir Malevich in 1916. Suprematist Composition is widely considered a masterpiece of early 20th century avant garde art. In fact, Sotheby’s has stated that the painting is “one of the greatest modern paintings ever offered for sale.”
The Malevich painting is expected to earn $60 million dollars at auction when it goes on sale at the Impressionist and Modern Art auction on November 3rd. The painting hit the market after Malevich’s heirs recouped it from the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Critics have mentioned that Sotheby's is taking a blod risk considering the deterioration of global stock markets. For example, the Russian Stock Market has been hit hard with a 61% decline since May.

Links of Interest:

Malevich Painting May Fetch More Than $60 Million [Bloomberg]
Heirs to Auction Russian Painter’s Work [New York Times]
Sotheby’s: Suprematist Composition (1916), Lot #6, Impressionist and Modern Art Fall Sale [Sotheby's]
Sotheby’s expect Malevich to smash Russian record [Reuters]

3 comments:

Wayne Tully said...

Wow, that is a lot of money for an abstract piece such as this, I would create artwork like this all the time if the price tags were realized that high for my work.

Balhatain said...

Hi Wayne,

Keep the historic context in mind. Malevich was ahead of his time in many ways.

Donald Frazell said...

He didnt exactly make alot of money back then, but did become a major influence on other artists. This is one of the few he did I actually like alot,and became big amont the new class of Soviet artists, before they became reactionary and supporting the status quo under Stalin.

The Russians tended to radicalization, and followed Kandinsky. They oversimplified Cezannes apple as did those like Rothko and Newman among the abstract expressionist generation. They took just one slice at a time and studied that, pushing it to an end, which came and could not go further. Because it was not alive, but just one layer of the body, say the nervous system, and not the skeleton, muscles, digestive, reproductive etc. They became teachers as Kandinsky did, who worked for a living at the Bauhaus, but Klee was by far the greater talent and artist of the Blue Four. These other far to doctrinaire and single minded, not poetic and mutative as Klee, and great artists are.

This and his white on white square were pretty much the height of his ability, he was definitely better as a theorist than actual artist. Problem is, too much theory is bad for art. Mistaking analysis, criticism, theory, as art is wrong headed, and leads to the sterility we have now. They are post mortems, seeing how a living thing operates from a dead thing. And not art, which trigger passions of life itself. Though death is part of life, as decay leads to growth, studying any one part is one dimensional and lacks the layering of life. The interconnectiveness of it. And while this one works, he career was short, and too much focused on career, and not imbibed with lifes force. Interesting, not moving. But worthy of museum showing. More of an influence on design than future art really. Except that small sliver of wannabe aesthetic and ascetic priests like Rothko and Newman, and thier severely retarded children, the minimalists.

Art collegia delenda est