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Copyright estate of the artist
 Lissitzky, Lazar El (1890 - 1941)
Russia

Kestnermappe Proun, Rob. Levnis and Chapman GmbH Hannover, 1923

Color lithograph on paper;
61 x 352 cm
Constructivism

UID 102-339



Biography

Russian architect, draughtsman, painter, illustrator, designer, photographer, teacher and theorist, Lissitzky studied Architecture and Engineering at the Technische Hochschule in Darmstadt. In 1912, he exhibited for the first time at the Artists Union in St Petersburg and, later, with the World of Art and Jack of Diamonds groups. Architecture and some Jewish themes were often the inspiration behind his work. The 1917 Russian Revolution, involved the artist in the Soviet attempts to create an art which could be adapted to communism and, two years later, Lissitzky moved to Vitbsk to work with Chagall and become professor of Graphic Arts and Architecture. Influenced by the Suprematism of Malevich, he was converted to its systematic and geometrical procedures, which changed his attitude to artistic production forever. He worked with the Suprematist group, Unovis and, in 1921, his moving to Moscow coincided with the emergence of Constructivism. His numerous trips to Western Europe enabled him to come into contact with various artists, namely Hans Arp, Kurt Schwitters and Man Ray, among others, as well as the De Stijl group. He worked on various periodicals of the time but his major projects were the designing of exhibitions for which he showed tremendous innovative capacity. Lissitzky was also a furniture designer and, in general, his whole production is characterised by extensive planning and perfect execution. It was Kurt Schwitters who introduced Lissitzky in 1922 to the Kestner Gessellschaft in Hannover. This society, founded on 10 June 1916, played an important part infostering the most important representatives of the new art. Sophie Küppers, the former artistic director’s widow (who later became Lissitzky’s wife), was fascinated by his works and decided to organize his first solo exhibition at the Kestner for the end of 1922 and beginning of 1923. Being such a great success, the directors commissioned the artist to execute a portfolio of lithographs as a new year’s gift for the members of the society. This particularly fine portfolio contains six lithographs in colours, a title page and the portfolio cover. It typifies Lissitzky’s work from the Proun period during the years 1919-1924 and concentrates on his spatial experiments. The lithographs were part of his first Proun.room that he designed for the Great Berlin Art Exhibition in 1923. This room was non-objective in design and was used to exhibit non-objective paintings and sculptures. Lissitzky arranged his relief-constructions-Prouns- in such a way that they guided the visitor’s eye around the room. The first Kestner portfolio is one of the most important testaments to the Constructivism in Germany.



Exhibitions

Here and Now: On Minimal Art in The Berardo Collection
Sintra Museu de Arte Moderna - Colecção Berardo (SMAM-CB), Portugal
18-10-2003 ~ 22-02-2004

Erich Kahn - Forgotten Generation Jewish Survivor German Expressionist
Sintra Museu de Arte Moderna - Colecção Berardo (SMAM-CB), Portugal
05-05-2005 ~ 09-10-2005

Colecção Berardo Collection 1917-1999
Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB), Portugal
27-01-2000 ~ 27-08-2000

A Look at The Berardo Collection
Museu de José Malhoa, Portugal
23-07-2001 ~ 26-10-2001

A Look at The Berardo Collection
Sintra Museu de Arte Moderna - Colecção Berardo (SMAM-CB), Portugal
18-06-2000 ~ 30-09-2000

Malevich and the Black Square
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Germany
22-03-2007 ~ 10-06-2007

Arriscar o Real
Museu Colecção Berardo, Portugal
08-06-2009 ~ 30-09-2009

Arte no Tempo de Shostakovich, CCB Módulo 2
Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB), Portugal
20-09-2006 ~ 20-11-2006

Quick, Quick, Slow - Texto, Imagem e Tempo
Museu Colecção Berardo, Portugal
11-09-2009 ~ 29-11-2009

Tudo o que é Sólido
Museu Colecção Berardo, Portugal
07-06-2010 ~ 12-09-2010


Bibliography

Here and Now: On Minimal Art in The Berardo Collection, 2003
Published by Sintra Museu de Arte Moderna - Colecção Berardo
ISBN 972990300X

Colecção Berardo Collection 1917-1999, 2000
Published by CCB - Centro Cultural de Belém
ISBN 972817652X

El Lissitzky, 1992

Erich Kahn - Forgotten Generation Jewish Survivor German Expressionist , 2005
Published by Sintra Museu de Arte Moderna - Colecção Berardo
ISBN 9729903018

A Look at The Berardo Collection, 2000
Published by Sintra Museu de Arte Moderna - Colecção Berardo
ISBN 9729742839







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