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 El Lissitzky

Born:   November 23 [O.S. November 11] 1890
Deceased:   December 30, 1941

Russian avant-garde architect, designer, graphic artist


El Lissitzky is one of the outstanding representatives of Russian and Jewish avant-garde art. Together with Kazimir Malevich he developed the basic principles of suprematism.

Lazar Markovich Lissitzky was born in village Pochinok of Smolensk Province (nowadays the Smolensk Region) into the family of a craftsman-entrepreneur. Lazar made his first steps in art made in 1903 under the guidance of Vitebsk painter Ju.M. Pan. In 1909 he finished non-classical secondary school in Smolensk. Then he studied at the Architecture Faculty of the Higher Polytechnic School in Darmstadt and in the Riga Polytechnic Institute. After graduation he worked in the architectural bureau of Velikovsky and Klein in Moscow.

In 1918 Lissitzky became one of the founders of Kultur-liga (league of culture) an avant-garde art and literary association aimed at creation of new Jewish national art.

Nearly at the same time Lissitzky invented and developed his own version of three-dimensional suprematic compositions and named them prouns (Russian acronym for projects of affirmation of the new). From 1919 to 1920 he painted a great number of prouns, most of which was transferred into graphic art. Files with lithographs of prouns were published in Moscow in 1921 and in Hanover in 1923.

Prouns played the role of a conceptual stage for creation of design developments of a wide range: prouns later grew into glorified projects of horizontal skyscrapers, theatrical scale models, decorative-and-spatial installations, projects of pavilions and exhibition interiors, new principles of photography and photomontage, as well as poster, book, and furniture designs.

For the first time the project of the Moscow skyscraper with only three points of support was exhibited in the architectural section of the exhibition November Gruppe in 1925.

In the beginning of the Great Patriotic War El Lissitzky created a number of antifascist posters.

The artist died on December, 30th, 1941 in Moscow.

Tags: El Lissitzky Russian Artists Russian Avant-garde   

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