El Lissitzky (real name - Lazar Markovich Lissitzky)

( 22.11.1890 - 30.12.1941) 


One of the outstanding representatives of the Russian and Jewish avant-garde.

Painter, graphic artist, architect, art theorist, designer.


Born in the family of artisan-entrepreneur. He graduated from the Smolensk real school.

The first artistic skills has led YM Peng. In 1909 he moved to Darmstadt, where from 1909 to 1914, attended classes at the Higher Technical School. In 1914 he returned to Russia, during the next two years he studied at the Riga Polytechnic Institute. Simultaneously worked as a poster artist and designer.


In 1915 he created the cover of the book KA Bolshakov "The sun is poured," published in 1916.

In 1917 took part in the exhibition "World of Art" in Petrograd, and from that time began to show their work at various exhibitions in Russia and abroad.

In 1916-1919 he was an active member of the "Mug of the Jewish national aesthetics" in Moscow and "Kulturligi" in Kiev. Served as illustrations for books published by "Kulturligoy" in Yiddish, in particular to the "Prague legend" M. Broderzona.

In 1918 became a member of the Division of Fine Arts Narcompros.

In 1918-1920 he taught at the Vitebsk art school folk, led by MZ Chagall. Along with Malevich, familiarity with which is held in Moscow, worked on an extensive cycle of paintings and drawings of three-dimensional Suprematist compositions - PROUNI (approval of new projects). Became a member of the group UNOVIS (affirmative new art). Friends with NI Suyetin, V. Ermolaeva, LM Khidekel, IG Chashnikov and others. At the same time took the nickname El Lissitzky.


Since 1920 cooperated with the Institute of Artistic Culture in Moscow.

In 1920-1921 he taught at the Moscow VHUTEMAS. Created a series of "Suprematism tale about two squares", which was published in book form in 1922 in Berlin.

In 1921 the Commissariat of Education was sent to Germany for restoration of cultural relations, until 1925 he lived in Berlin. In 1922, with IG Ehrenburg published in Berlin magazine Thing /Gegenstand /Objet ». A year later, a hall PROUNI at Great Berlin Art Exhibition. Released an album Figurinen. Die plastiche Gestaltung der Elektro-Mechaniscen Schau «Sieg über die Sonne». The method of visual-spatial construction of the book, filling out a book of poetry Vladimir Mayakovsky's "For the Voice" and others. In 1924 it was a personal exhibition El Lissitzky in Berlin.


In 1925 he returned to Moscow, where he taught from 1926 to VHUTEINe. Participated in a number of architectural competitions, in particular for projects home textiles (1925), combine Pravda (1930) in Moscow, housing for the Ivanovo-Voznesensk.

In 1928 joined the association "October".

In 1930 published his treatise on modern Russian art Russland. Architektur für eine Weltrevolution ( «Russia. Architecture for World Revolution"). Many worked as a book designer and exhibition designer, in particular, collaborated with the magazine "USSR in Construction" (1932-1940). Since 1935 - the main artist VSHV.


Retrospective exhibition of past masters in Museum of Modern Art in Oxford (1977), Gallery of the Higher School of Visual Arts Art in Leipzig (1981), Sprengel Museum in Hanover (1988), the State Tretyakov Gallery (1990), Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven (1990), Stedeliyk Museum in Amsterdam (1991), the Getty Museum in Los Angeles (1998-1999).


El Lissitzky - one of the leading masters of constructivism. Owe much to the theory and practice of Malevich, he developed a large number of aspects of Suprematism, defending the idea of universal applicability of this trend, El Lissitzky at the same time denied the mystical, irrational moments inherent Malevich. Architecture and design have been for both of them an instrument of the major Suprematist schemes in life. Therefore PROUNI were extremely important to the artist. Subsequently, they played the role of the design stage to create the design development of the widest range. From PROUNI "grown up" projects "horizontal skyscraper", theatrical models, projects, exhibition pavilions and interiors, new principles of photography and photomontage, poster, book, furniture design, and so on. Lissitzky was convinced that the design can become an international language, replacing the traditional functions of verbal language.


Works are in major Russian and foreign museums, including the State Tretyakov Gallery, State Russian Museum, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona.


El Lissitzky - Graphics