Letter to David Shterenberg – K. MALEVICH



Dear David Petrovich,

I have heard rumors to the effect that you are organizing an exhibition abroad, but up to now I have not received anything official or otherwise regarding this. According to what is being said,the exhibition will be put together in late April, Naturally I’ve never offered myself to anyone and for that reason the attitude towards myself by the organizers of the exhibition isn’t particularly good this time as well, but one thing is clear to me and that is that all of you have begun a fight against me, the first action on your part was that Kandinsky and company locked my Square in the Schlusselberg fortress and up to now it has not been allowed to see the light of day. Everything will also be arranged this time regarding the exhibition abroad. Therefore, if you have all decided to send me to the exhibition, my ideological as well as moral conditions are to send four of my works, if of course, everybody will be represented by four; if by three, then my three; if by two, then by my two, in any case do not send more than four.

If four, I ask to exhibit: 1) Black Square, 2) Black Circle, 3) Four Cross-like Planes and 4) White Square 3 Kreiter has all these works from the exhibition still, 4 which is why I cannot bring them, after all, I can’t come from Vitebsk.

If it is three, then the Black Square, the Black Circle and the White Square. If it is two — the black and white squares. In the catalogue, if there will be no articles, manifestos, etc., call it Suprematism, 1913. Russia I think that you, like the others, have power, this time you will not want to circumvent me, but if you want to send other things, it will be impossible for me to participate and having High Principles in art, I ask you too to have High Principles in regard to myself.

If groups will take part in the exhibition, then Unovis will have to be fully represented, and since it hasn’t received any official papers, it is clear that this is being done for ideological reasons. I’d like to warn you that (such) attitudes and underhanded dealings never come to a good end, on the contrary those who strive, under different pretexts to stifle principles always lose, this has been proven historically.

You David Petrovich are in charge, so I would urge you to be responsible before history as a statesman. This is why I am writing to you, because you have power, I have ideas without power, and this is why you must do as I ask in this note.

Thank you for the food parcel, my wife has begun to spit blood.

Thank you also that you permit all sorts of amateur high school students in all of the IZO departments to put spokes into the wheels of our new art and methods instead of strengthening them. Fridlender and sundry Romms are like that.

A friendly handshake,

K. Malevich

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