Eliezer (El) Lissitzky (1890-1941)
Watercolor on Paper
A principal advocate of Malevich’s suprematist theories and a co-founder of UNOVIS, Russian-born avant-garde artist El Lissitzky (1890-1941), nevertheless, began developing around 1920 a series of paintings, drawings and lithographs he called Proun. The works took suprematist ideology beyond the flatness of geometric shapes by investigating their spatial possibilities using perspective views and a variety of axis. Proun, a black and red watercolor on paper from 1924 in the M.T. Abraham Collection indicates Lissitzky’s investigation of these abstract variables. As an ardent participant in the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, Lissitzky created propaganda posters and graphic material for the Red cause and in 1921 became the Russian cultural representative to Germany, where he established contacts with both Bauhaus and de Stijl (Kandinsky, Schwitters, Van Doesburg, Arp, Moholy-Nagy) artists and expanded his distinguished career into theater, environmental and architectural design.