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

Study for Proun 4B, c. 1920

Watercolour, indian ink and collage;
27.5 x 19.5 cm
Constructivism

UID 102-341



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

Lazar El Lissitzky
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, USA
08-07-1980 ~ 10-04-1980

Lazar El Lissitzky
Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, The Netherlands
03-12-1965 ~ 16-01-1966

Lazar El Lissitzky
The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA, NY), USA
12-06-1977 ~ 10-07-1977

Lazar El Lissitzky
Grosvenor Gallery, United Kingdom
01-01-1968 ~ 30-12-1968

Lazar El Lissitzky
Leonard Hutton Galleries, USA
16-10-1971 ~ 18-12-1971

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

The Berardo Collection - A Voyage through the 20th Century
Sintra Museu de Arte Moderna - Colecção Berardo (SMAM-CB), Portugal
04-12-2004 ~ 30-04-2005

Building/Unbuilding/Inhabit - works of The Berardo Collection
Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB), Portugal
29-04-2005 ~ 15-01-2006

Lazar El Lissitzky (London)
Grosvenor Gallery, United Kingdom
01-01-1962 ~ 31-12-1962

Lazar El Lissitzky (Oxford)
Museum of Modern Art, the (MOMA, Oxford), United Kingdom
12-06-1977 ~ 10-07-1977

Lazar El Lissitzky (Hanover)
Sprengel Museum, Germany
24-01-1988 ~ 10-04-1988

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

The Berardo Collection - A Voyage through the 20th Century
Sintra Museu de Arte Moderna - Colecção Berardo (SMAM-CB), Portugal
04-12-2004 ~ 30-04-2005

Territórios Singulares na Colecção Berardo
Sintra Museu de Arte Moderna - Colecção Berardo (SMAM-CB), Portugal
22-10-2002 ~ 28-02-2003

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

Fragmentos Arte Contemporânea na Colecção Berardo
MACE, Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Elvas, Portugal
24-09-2010 ~ 23-01-2011

Observers
Museu Colecção Berardo, Portugal
14-02-2011 ~ 29-05-2011


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

Colecção Berardo, Novas Aquisições, 2000
Published by Arte Ibérica

Territórios Singulares na Colecção Berardo, 2002
Published by Sintra Museu de Arte Moderna - Colecção Berardo
ISBN 972974288X







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