The study and publication of Khidekel’s Suprematist legacy followed several decades of Stalinist prohibition, coinciding with the gradual rediscovery of the Russian avant-garde and its creators during the Khrushchev thaw. This process, which began in the late 1960s, was the result of the efforts of a group of Soviet and international scholars, two of whom were especially important: Larissa Zhadova and Selim Khan-Magomedov. Both scholars, who were particularly interested in Suprematism, had multiple meetings with Khidekel, examined and obtained firsthand information on his works, and completed the first post-World War II publications devoted to Khidekel’s Suprematist oeuvre. Drawing on unique archival documents, including materials related to UNOVIS, GINKhUK (State Institute of Artistic Culture), and Khidekel’s art and architectural training, Zhadova and Khan-Magomedov each sought to define his place in the UNOVIS artistic circle as well as his status as the first Suprematist architect.
Zhadova asserted that “Khidekel was Malevich’s principal assistant in his architectural experiments of 1924–25,” an assertion that today is fully corroborated by documents from the GINKhUK and GIII (State Institute of Art History) archives – many appearing in print for the first time in Irina Karasik’s contribution to “Lazar Khidekel and Suprematism” (Prestel Publishing, 2014).