The next deals with the work and theories of the German constructivists — Moholy-Nagy and Lissitzky who had moved to Berlin from the Soviet Union. There were lots of theoretical wranglings amongst the artists and many bold claims made for the social and even revolutionary meanings in their works. And if these abstract paintings dropped out of the sky unsigned, their meanings would be even more intractable. His furniture was never put into production [through no fault of his own] but his graphic design was a big success, was hugely influential, and is still fresh as paint today.
During his childhood, he lived and studied in the city of Vitebsknow part of Belarusand later spent 10 years in Smolensk living with his grandparents and attending the Smolensk Grammar School, spending summer vacations in Vitebsk.
Inhe applied to an art academy in Saint Petersburgbut was rejected. While he passed the entrance exam and was qualified, the law under the Tsarist regime only allowed a limited number of Jewish students to attend Russian schools and universities.
He left in to study architectural engineering at a Technische Hochschule in DarmstadtGermany. Petersburg Artists Union; a notable first step.
He remained in Germany until the outbreak of World War Iwhen he was forced to return home through Switzerland and the Balkans along with many of his countrymen, including other expatriate artists born in the former Russian Empire, such as Wassily Kandinsky and Marc Chagall.
The new Provisional Government repealed a decree that prohibited the printing of Hebrew letters and that barred Jews from citizenship. Eyne fun di geshikhten An Everyday Conversationwhere he incorporated Hebrew letters with a distinctly art nouveau flair.
His next book was a visual retelling of the traditional Jewish Passover song Had gadya One Goatin which Lissitzky showcased a typographic device that he would often return to in later designs.
In the book, he integrated letters with images through a system that matched the color of the characters in the story with the word referring to them.
This representation links the redemption of the Jews with the victory of the Bolsheviks in the Russian Revolution. Suprematism[ edit ] Proun. Lissitzky was engaged in designing and printing propaganda posters; later, he preferred to keep quiet about this period, probably because one of main subjects of these posters was the exile Leon Trotsky.
However, it was not until October when Lissitzky, then on an errand in Moscow, persuaded Malevich to relocate to Vitebsk. In development sincesuprematism rejected the imitation of natural shapes and focused more on the creation of distinct, geometric forms.
He replaced the classic teaching program with his own and disseminated his suprematist theories and techniques school-wide. Chagall advocated more classical ideals and Lissitzky, still loyal to Chagall, became torn between two opposing artistic paths.
Chagall left the school shortly thereafter. Beat the Whites with the Red WedgeAt this point Lissitzky subscribed fully to suprematism and, under the guidance of Malevich, helped further develop the movement. Russia was going through a civil war at the time, which was mainly fought between the "Reds" communists, socialists and revolutionaries and the "Whites" monarchists, conservatives, liberals and other socialists who opposed the Bolshevik Revolution.
After a brief and stormy dispute between "old" and "young" generations, and two rounds of renaming, the group reemerged as UNOVIS Exponents of the new art in February. This was partly a homage to a similar piece by their leader, Malevich, and a symbolic embrace of the Communist ideal.
Black squares worn by members as chest badges and cufflinks also resembled the ritual tefillin and thus were no strange symbol in Vitebsk shtetl.
Incidentally, the earliest appearance of the signature Lissitzky Russian: Commenting on Proun inLissitzky stated, "We brought the canvas into circles.
The exact meaning of "Proun" was never fully revealed, with some suggesting that it is a contraction of proekt unovisa designed by UNOVIS or proekt utverzhdenya novogo Design for the confirmation of the new. Later, Lissitzky defined them ambiguously as "the station where one changes from painting to architecture.This Pin was discovered by Paper Planes.
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"Laszlo Moholy-Nagy a Hungarian painter and photographer, had his own take on the art of the Russian avant-garde, clearly taking up Malevich’s Suprematism and El Lissitsky’s Constuctivism." "László Moholy-Nagy (Hungarian, –), Ungarische Felder [hungarian fields], Works by other influential artists from Hungary, such as Kurt Schwitters and El Lissitsky, as well as émigré artists, with whom Moholy-Nagy interacted are included in the exhibition.
László Moholy-Nagy. Nov 11, Wassily Kandinsky - - Free Curve to the Point - Accompanying Sound of Geometric Curves.
Through close readings of the works of Alexander Rodchenko, El Lissitzky, and László Moholy-Nagy whose careers covered a broad range of artistic practices and political situations, Victor Margolin examines the way these three artists negotiated the changing relations between their social ideals and the political realities they confronted.