Lissitzky, El

Lissitzky, El (Eliezer Markovich Lissitzky)lyĭsyēts´kē [key], 1890–1941, Russian painter, designer, teacher, and architect. Lissitzky studied at Darmstadt and later taught at the Moscow Academy of Arts, collaborating with avant-garde artists and architects. Begun in 1919, his series of abstract geometric paintings entitled Proun (an acronym for project for the affirmation of the new), as well as his many prints, were key works in Russia's suprematist movement (see suprematism). Lissitzky left Russia (1921) after Lenin issued an edict against the avant-garde. Living in Germany, he introduced suprematist and constructivist ideas to László Moholy-Nagy and had a significant influence on the Bauhaus movement. Before returning (1928) to the Soviet Union he designed the Russian section of the Cologne Newspaper Exhibition, one of his many severely abstract exhibition designs. Lissitzky was also an important innovator in typography and advertising. His writings about architecture include Russia: The Reconstruction of Architecture in the Soviet Union (1930).

See biography by his wife, S. Lissitzky-Küppers (tr. 1968, repr. 1980); studies by V. Margolin (1997), M. Tuppitsyn (1999), and N. Perloff and B. Reed, ed. (2003).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Architecture: Biographies