to Comrade Petrov – K. MALEVICH
Letter from Malevich to the Head of the Main Administration of Scientific Institutions of the Academic Center, March 7, 1925.
To Comrade Petrov,
During seven years of revolutionary activity many of my comrades have had the opportunity of going abroad to show their works and also become acquainted with the art of Western artists and increase their knowledge. In view of this fact I consider it appropriate to now raise the question of your assistance regarding my going abroad (to Germany) to organize an exhibition.
I have worked for five years at the Narkompros (People’s Commissariat of Education) as a professor in the higher art schools. At present I am working on the establishment of a scientific research institute in the area of the science of art and have at my disposal a considerable number of works — painterly artistic, as well as the laboratory works of the institute. I can assume that such an exhibition would be the first of its kind in the West: not only my works will be exhibited but also those from the research laboratory. The success of this exhibition will be vouched for by the representatives of German art who have come here, and this can also be seen from the attached letter of invitation from the German firm. However, not wishing to be exploited by the firm I am appealing for your help in having the Committee for the Organization of Foreign Tours and Exhibitions abroad to issue the necessary funds for the trip and the organization of the exhibition in the West.
I take it upon myself to return this money out of the proceeds of the exhibition
Moreover, it is imperative that I go abroad to obtain materials and information about Western art, which will further advance the work of the Institute of Artistic culture, the first institution of its kind in the world, which will be established on Soviet territory.
Leningrad, Institute of Artistic culture