Situating El Lissitsky (Issues and Debates Series)

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Overview


Situating El Lissitzky reassesses the complex career of one of the most influential yet controversial experimental artists of the early twentieth century. A prolific painter, designer, architect, and photographer, El Lissitzky (1890-1941) worked with the Soviet and the European artistic avant-gardes in the 1920s and as a propagandist for the Stalinist regime in the following decade.

Taking readers into the thick of current debates about Lissitzky's artistic personae, Situating El Lissitzky reconstructs aspects of his elusive identity across different periods, places, and media. Following an introduction in which Nancy Perloff distills and draws together the volume's eight essays, Christina Lodder, Éva Forgács, and Maria Gough offer revisionist accounts of Lissitzky's years as an international constructivist and exhibition designer in Europe. John E. Bowlt then investigates the role of handicraft and the symbol of the hand in Lissitzky's artistic production, and Leah Dickerman and Margarita Tupitsyn elucidate the interplay between physicality and opticality at different stages in Lissitzky's development as a photographer. Finally, T. J. Clark and Peter Nisbet address the disconcerting balance of aesthetic value and political expediency in Lissitzky's overtly Communist art. The result is a kaleidoscopic portrait of Lissitzky as Bolshevik visionary, craftsman, modernist, internationalist, and Soviet propagandist.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780892366774
  • Publisher: Getty Publications
  • Publication date: 6/27/2003
  • Series: Issues and Debates Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,297,203
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy Perloff is collections curator of modern and new media collections at the Getty Research Institute.

Brian Reed is assistant professor of English at the University of Washington, Seattle.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
The Puzzle of El Lissitzky's Artistic Identity 1
Pt. I East-West
El Lissitzky and the Export of Constructivism 27
Definitive Space: The Many Utopias of El Lissitzky's Proun Room 47
Constructivism Disoriented: El Lissitzky's Dresden and Hannover Demonstrationsraume 77
Pt. II Hand-Eye
Manipulating Metaphors: El Lissitzky and the Crafted Hand 129
El Lissitzky's Camera Corpus 153
After Vitebsk: El Lissitzky and Kazimir Malevich, 1924-1929 177
Pt. III Propaganda
El Lissitzky in Vitebsk 199
El Lissitzky circa 1935: Two Propaganda Projects Reconsidered 211
Plates 235
Five Letters 243
Biographical Notes on the Contributors 261
Illustration Credits 264
Index 268
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